Another week and another win a house controversy is simmering away in the background. Win My Dream Brighton Home closed on the 4th April 2021 after almost six months of selling tickets for a refurbished seaview apartment in trendy Hove. Unfortunately the owner failed to get close to their 550,000 ticket target and therefore, as is the case with these kind of competitions, this meant that a cash prize would be awarded. This prize would be “80% of net ticket sales (after fees)”.
Initially the draw was set to take place on the 6th April using Random.org but we understand there were issues uploading all the entries. The draw was then rescheduled for 3pm on the 8th April and then the same time on the 9th. We believe a draw did take place on the 9th but a glitch meant that not all entries were included in the draw. This draw was then declared null and void and the draw date moved to the 16th April. However on the 15th the promoter announced the new – and hopefully final – draw will take place at midday on the 23rd.
According to their Facebook post “The lottery system software that has been used for the ticket number generation did not include everyone’s tickets into the draw first time around. We are working with the development company who designed the system which is one of the best, to ensure every single ticket is included to give everyone a fair chance at winning”. Whilst we sympathise with any company dealing with technical glitches we do have to question how the draw system “which is one of the best around” requires a couple of weeks of fixing?
£30,000 Prize Pot
As mentioned at the start of the article this property competition will be generating a cash winner and not a home winner. Having scanned through Win My Dream Brighton Home’s Facebook page it does suggest that £180,000 worth of tickets have been sold. There’s been no official word from the promoter on ticket sales but they have confirmed that the cash prize will be £30,000. On paper that’s not a bad sum of money but it doesn’t sound a lot in comparison to sales. Had this competition run on Raffall for example the prize would be over £100,000 more (based on alleged ticket sales and Raffall offering 75% of ticket sales if a cash prize is to be awarded).
Transparency Is Important
Naturally this prize pot has got entrants questioning the host and asking for details. Given that the host actually writes “it is very important for us to be transparent” there currently is a lack of detail about how the prize fund was determined. One entrant has asked for details on tickets sold, charitable donations and fees. So far the promoter has not published this information. Another interesting question has been asked regarding the final days of the competition. The promoter must have known that the house wasn’t going to go but still pushed for extra sales for the chance to win the apartment.
One of the reasons the promoter ran this competition was to raise funds for Rockinghorse children’s charity. On 18th December £10,000 was donated by the house competition to the charity according to a Facebook post. This is great news for the good cause who stood to benefit from “10% of the profits from all tickets sold whether the minimum is reached or not”. If 10% of the profits is at least the £10K donated then we’re not sure how “80% of net ticket sales (after fees)” equates to £30,000. We can understand why some entrants are now posing questions.
** Footnote **
Our quote of 10% of profits came from this article published by the charity. However this seems to be incorrect and in fact 10% of ticket sales were donated. This obviously makes a big difference to the calculations. Thanks to Michael for highlighting the error (see comments).
Win a house competitions continue to struggle with transparency issues and inexperienced promoters. Having looked at this competition we have to question a few things such as why the website has been taken down and replaced with a one page announcement? Why not just deactivate the cart area? Also why not link the announcement page to the Facebook page so that visitors can see what’s going on and follow discussions etc. We like the fact that the host feels transparency is important but there does seem to be some selectivity with respect to this. We’re also wondering why £10,000 was donated to charity before the competition concluded?
A Poor Return
The technical issues surrounding the draw are unfortunate and in fairness the promoter has continued to explain the situation via social media. What we don’t understand is why the draw system wasn’t being tested in the weeks leading up to the draw. And if this system is one of the best around why it’s not worked so far? The prize pot is going to be a big issue for the promoter to explain and to be honest they’re damned if they do and damned if they don’t. If £180,000 has been raised from this competition then £30,000 is a poor return in comparison to other competitions that have failed. Whilst these events will put off some entrants hopefully future win a house promoters can learn important lessons before starting their own giveaways.