Advent competitions have been keeping us occupied recently but over in the win a house section of Loquax there’s been quite a lot of activity too. We’ve had extensions, the date moving kind and not the property type, home winners, cash prize winners, closed competitions and even a tantrum or two. We also got the briefest of mentions in The Times just for good measure.
Biggest Cash Prize Winner
Despite a purple patch of property winning success during 2020 many owners/promoters have struggled of late to hit their sales targets. So much so that a number of competitions including Raffle House, Win A Dream Property and Win My Dream Home have all exercised their terms and conditions to implement new closing dates. In many respects this isn’t ideal but in theory – at least – it should give the respective competitions their best chance of completion. If they don’t then the prize pot alternative should hopefully be healthy.
Whether it’s as healthy as the prize won yesterday (9th December) in the Dream Home Prize Draw remains to be seen. This competition closed at the end of November and offered entrants the chance to win Painter’s Keep, an amazing property in West Sussex. Despite celebrity endorsement and a lot of media coverage the competition failed to reach the 750,000 ticket sales target. However they did sell 390,256 tickets bringing in revenue of just under £800,000. The promoter has been very transparent on Facebook – a refreshing change – and after costs of £181,053 and a charity donation of £78,051 that meant a main prize of £365,366! That’s one of the biggest, if not the biggest, cash prize awarded in house competitions.
Win A Sunderland Home
Two things are worth noting here. Firstly the prize, costs and charity fee come from the 80% of gross ticket sales. That means 20% or £156,000 has also been used by the promoter. Add that to the costs and that’s a whopping £337,000 spent in trying to sell a house and in the end making a tidy sum for charity and also for one very lucky winner. When you look at numbers like that it does make you wonder whether the house raffle endeavour is worthwhile or whether the costs some invoke on their raffle journey are really good value for money. For example was an endorsement by Love Island’s Amy Hart a necessary expense?
A case in point is Win A Sunderland Home which became the latest property to be won via Raffall. This competition just failed to hit it’s ticket target but enough were sold for the prize to be awarded. In fact 91936 tickets were sold bringing in revenue of £229,840. With 10% going to Raffall the remainder is for the promoter and based on the property valuation the profit is around £38,000. Even if the owners have spent all that on advertising it’s still considerably less than the costs involved in running Dream Home Prize Draw.
Big Mansion, Tiny House Winner
Whilst Win A Sunderland Home was successful, Dream Home Prize draw did raise a lot of money and awareness for charity. Combining the two is Omaze who hit the headlines recently when they created a £1million home winner at the conclusion of their first UK house prize draw. Ian Garrick was pulled out the hat and took the keys of the Cheshire home for the price of a £10 ticket. Omaze guaranteed that the property would be won and used their competition to raise funds for Teenage Cancer Trust. Unfortunately ticket sales, costs and donation amounts aren’t available but we do wonder if they got close to generating enough funds. The question of using house competitions as a vehicle for raising money for charity was highlighted in The Times.
Omaze now hold the record for the most expensive UK home won in a house prize draw. However just 10 days later another record fell for the cheapest property to be won. Tiny Home may not be quite everyone’s cup of tea but we liked the back story and felt it worthy of being on our property listings. Enough tickets were sold for the draw to take place and the trailer home valued at £15,000 was won by Jamie Lockett. Sadly the website has been taken down and there’s no other details on social media about ticket sales and donations but hopefully that will be made available soon.
Flops & Failures
Although there are still some successful property raffles and near misses there are also a lot of flops and failures. Winton House pulled their competition recently and the property is now up for sale by more traditional means. We did feel that the ticket price of this £3.2million property was too high and that the 50% prize pot clause unattractive. To date no one knows why the competition was cancelled but poor ticket sales would be, in our opinion, a good guess. In fairness to the promoter full refunds were made to entrants.
During 2020 we’ve featured nearly 80 win a house competitions. Some promoters do get in touch and also respond postively to visitor comments. Others less so and for the first time ever we pulled a listing. Our aim is to offer advice and commentary to our visitors who in turn may spend money on sites listed. If a competition doesn’t provide basic information such as terms and conditions or we dislike an element of the competition then it’ll be flagged. This sector has been tarnished with poor competitions and if by flagging issues results in them being resolved then that is better for customers and future competitions. Any promoter who can’t understand that shouldn’t be running a property raffle!
The Secret Of Success
As the above post shows there’s no real hard and fast rule for win a house competition success. Big mansions can be won using this format but so can small trailer homes and family homes. Some promoters can throw pounds in getting their competitions noticed with celebrity endorsements. However they may not be as successful as a determined home owner with limited budgets to boost ticket sales.
Although there’s no instant formula to success there’s now plenty of information about putting together these kind of competitions including which payment gateways to use, being sensible with pricing and making sure terms are visible and fair. We fully expect that UKGC, CAP and ASA will take a closer look at this sector in 2021 especially if it becomes increasingly more popular. If new promoters can’t learn from past failures then that is not going to increase confidence for entrants in the future.