The excitement surrounding win a house competitions died down considerably during 2019. So much so that it looked as though 2020 would see them vanish altogether from The UK. A mixture of failed competitions, poorly run promotions, bad publicity and concerns over scams had all but put off promoters and prospective entrants from getting involved. However 2020 looks like it’s going to possibly start with a win a house prize.
Just £2 A Ticket
Win A Country Home was launched at the end of 2019 by Michael and Linda Chatha. Via a win a house raffle they intend to giveaway their property, Shrubbery Farm in Shrewsbury. Unlike many of it’s predecessors this competition looks on course to be completed. It has ridden a wave of media publicity and at just £2 a ticket looks to have sold enough already so that someone will win the property.
In fact according to the Win A Country Home website they “are DEFINITELY awarding the house”! However the course of these kind of giveaways never runs smooth and despite a phenomenal start the competition has hit rough waters. The payment system that was being used to sell tickets has apparently realised it’s not happy to be used for competition purposes. This means that there’s a pause in proceedings as no one can buy tickets. A new solution is being sought.
Valentine’s Day Prize
Unfortunately this kind of hiccup does cause concerns about validity. However the Facebook page of the competition is being very open and transparent. The competition’s original deadline of 31st January 2020 has been pushed back to 10th February 2020. This is to allow “everyone a fair chance to buy tickets”. The conclusion of the competition will then be on the 14th February when one lucky winner will become the new owner of Shrubbery Farm. Announcing that the house will “definitely” be awarded is a clever move! It means that people who have sat on the fence may decide that a £2 punt for a house prize is worth a go. Even I’ve got a couple of tickets although I’d hate to imagine the social media commentary if I won. “Win A House watch website owner wins house”. Yeah! That’d really go down well wouldn’t it. Mind you it’d still be nice to win.
The Perfect House Raffle?
If the house prize is awarded then we might expect to see more win a house competitions during 2020. This is exactly what happened after Oldborough Retreat was won and when Dunstan Law completed the Melling Manor giveaway. However there’s similarities between all three promotions. Oldborough Retreat was the first of it’s kind and interest grew thanks to media support. The same happened with Melling Manor and now with Win A Country Home. all three had few or no other competitors so all eyes can be just on their competition. Melling Manor and Win A Country Home are similar in their price too. Just £2 gives you the chance to become an owner of an expensive property. A couple of quid is the price of a lottery ticket or a very small coffee. Once the momentum of a competition starts it becomes easier to get people interested. Win A Country Home have been clever with respect to openness plus they encouraged people to share their links to get extra entries. If they now go on to actually giveaway the property then they’ve executed the perfect house raffle.
Will The House Be Won?
Of course anything can happen between now and the 14th February. If a new payment system is installed then we don’t see why the competition won’t conclude. If the delays continue then that may see the closing date extend, which in turn may raise interest from ASA. One thing that does concern us is the original payment service. Will they release the funds? If the payment service isn’t supposed to accept payments for house competitions then we guess they’re not supposed to release those payments. When other competitions have used Paypal for example to sell tickets, Paypal has stopped their service being used as an option. Any funds generated via a Paypal payment have then had to be refunded. Paypal isn’t the payment system in this case, but if that system follows a similar process then it could mean potentially entrants having their monies returned. Note that this is purely speculative on our part and the owner is adamant the property is being given away so this would suggest all is well.
We would love to see a house winner on St Valentine’s Day and will keep our eyes on Win A Country House for further updates.