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Just one house has been won via a raffle

Written by: Emma Lunn
A growing number of properties are put up as raffle prizes but only a small number of competitions result in a property changing hands.

In fact, (WMDH) claims just one property raffle has resulted in a winner actually receiving the property in question.

According to the website, which claims to offer the clearest house raffle prize terms and donate the largest proportion of cash to charity, since April 2018 there have been 15 hopeful vendors trying to sell their property using a raffle.

But it says just one of the raffles has resulted in the winner actually receiving the property in question, with just a further six resulting in a cash payout, and the remaining either refunding their ticket sales or the result is still unknown.

Using information from the UK competition authority portal, Loquax, WMDH has looked at the history of house competitions, and how they have turned out.

The only competition that has resulted in an outright property winner was Win a Feckin House which launched in April 2018 and offered the prize of a four-bed, semi-detached house in the village of Termonfeckin in the Republic of Ireland.

Valued at £280,000 it had by far the highest ticket entry price at £100 and sold just 8,000 tickets with those entering needing only to join the local GAA club in order to qualify for entry. However, the gamble paid off for Vicky Hanratty from Drogheda who won the house when the competition closed in December 2018.

Alternative cash prizes

Of the other 14 competitions, six struggled to sell the required number of tickets and instead gave the winner a cash prize, although “the amount given and the basis of this amount were less than transparent” according to WMDH.

Win Fred’s Home in Bolton gifted just £7,000 to the winner having sold just 1,000 tickets at £10 a pop, while Cadivus, which offered a luxury flat in Kensington, gifted £53,500.

Win a Maida Vale Home ran for eight months selling 4,200 tickets at £25 each before gifting £79,350 of the £105,000 generated by these sales instead of the home.

Millionaire’s Mansion gave away £100,000 in cash after extending the competition for a year. The number of ticket sales remains unknown. Admittedly, £100,000 isn’t a bad prize, but it’s a far cry from the £2.3m house plus Rolls Royce and £50,000 in cash originally offered.

Win a Mega Home gave away just £110,070 of the £750,000 generated via ticket sales after failing to gift the £3m home and also pulling its charitable donation. Most recently, Raffle House gave away £173,013 after failing to sell enough tickets for a £650,000 home despite a string of extensions to the timeline.

Unknown outcomes

WMDH also highlighted a couple of house raffles where the outcome, if there was one, remains unknown. It says Win a House Club in Edinburgh and House Prize Competition in Cheshire both claimed to have picked a winner but the websites have now vanished.

It also criticised Win Barns Farm Life and Win a Yorkshire Home as competitions which appear to have closed down and the outcome either unknown or refunds given.

Marc Gershon, of Win my Dream Home, said: “When you look back at previous house competitions in the UK and abroad, it’s clear to see why the public perception of the format is a negative one, with just one house awarded and a small handful gifting a cash prize.

“These competitions are a business venture at the end of the day and if not enough tickets are sold, a cash prize is an acceptable substitute. However, when it is done in a less than transparent manner with the financial details or ticket sales being withheld, you can see why those that do win still feel hard done by.

“A lack of understanding is the driving factor behind the poor running of these competitions and due to dodgy T&Cs, extensions to closing dates and inadequate skills test like spot the ball, there’s a lot to do to raise the bar in the house competition sector and get the public back on side.”

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