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04/21/2008 07:30 PM ID: 70150 Permalink   

Essay Contest Prize: New Mexico Home


A Santa Fe couple hope they have come up with a way to unload their 1,200 square-foot house in a depressed market - they are offering it as the prize in an essay contest, but there is a catch.

Each entry in the contest is subject to a $100 entry fee, and at least 2,500 entries must be received for contest to proceed. If fewer than 2,500 entries are received, then all entry fees will be returned.

New Mexico's state Gaming Control Board is looking into whether or not the contest is a raffle or a game of skill. If it is determined to be a raffle, then it will be deemed illegal.

    WebReporter: Zpravodajec Show Calling Card      
ASSESS this news: BLOCK this news. Reason:
  I say it is a raffle..  
I believe it is a game of skill becuase you rely on personal writing skills to compose the essay. But I truly understand how it will be considered a raffle, becuase theyre already getting $250,000 for the contestants fees; and who will decide which essay is the best? Will they have a person with a MA in English grading contestants papers like students? Or will the essay be chosen on pure choice of opinion of the homeowners? Seems like it would be cool to win, but it would be too easy to rig.
  by: pimpzini   04/21/2008 09:24 PM     
  smart idea  
Lets noty be pessimistice to people who come up with good ideas here.
  by: vhan     04/21/2008 10:06 PM     
I am willing to bet they are making a contest for the house because they were trying to sell their house on the market and they realized how much money they would loose. So for them to get back what they paid for the house at the time of markey price(assuming $250000)this $100 an entry and minimum of 2500 entries to continue the contest is pretty smart. Because of all the entries made whether its 2500 or 5000 this couple is looking at a huge pay out. The person who wins the contest will make out as well because they basically only paid $100 for it.
  by: blackwidow_r6   04/22/2008 05:34 AM     
  Brilliant idea  
If all is on the up and up, this couple stands to make a lot of money and the winner will, too. I'm personally thinking of entering the contest; if I lose, I'm out $100. If not enough people enter, I get my money back. If I win, I've got a house I could sell for $20,000, still ridiculously cheap, and get myself a new car or something.
  by: lĀ“anglais     04/23/2008 01:04 AM     
  Contests can be valid and run well  
There really are people with integrity in this world. Not everyone is out to scam the rest. I'd assume these people are going to read the essays and pick the one they like best; others actually get impartial judges to do the selections. At they are getting volunteers from the local schools (teachers and retired teachers) to judge the contest. Many contests have the identifying data hidden from the judges so they base their selections solely on the essay, not on other factors.
  by: writergrrrl   12/12/2008 02:06 AM     
  Win-win for all  
I've been researching contests like this to help my friends do the same thing with their Essay 101 - Win a Hawaiian Home - and the best contests are those where not just the homeowner wins. In this contest, the owner wins by moving the house that didn't sell; the Grand Prize winner gets a custom built, never lived in home for the $101 entry fee, that they can live in or use as a honeymoon rental or vacation rental; the owners say they will give $30,000 to their local schools; and there are 2 cash prizes. It isn't about greed, it's about creating a situation where everyone wins. I love the idea - see ours at and see what you think.
  by: writergrrrl   12/12/2008 02:10 AM     
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