Can a Real Estate raffle work? It did at Melling Manor

Real Estate Raffle - Melling ManorMelling Manor was purchased during 2014 for £585,000. It was recently won in a real estate raffle by a woman from Warrington. Can raffles successfuly sell a property? This one was very successful so the answer is yes under certain circumstances.

Marie Segar won Melling Manor after entering a raffle. The property is estimated to be worth £800,000 in today’s market. Marie purchased 20 tickets at £2 each and scooped prize piece of real estate.

The 18th century six bedroom property in Lancashire has a ballroom and cinema and has parking for six cars. Marie Segar said she could not believe it when she found out she had won. The house came with a title so she in now the Lady of Melling.

The marketing of the raffle by the owner had attracted raffle entrants from all over the world including Russia, China and New Zealand.

Do the maths, the owner had sold 500,000 tickets at £2. A cash prize would have been awarded if the reserve prize had not been met. The owner was able to make £40,000 in donations for good causes from the surplus funds. Prior to the raffle the owner Dunstan Low had not been able to sell the property. The owner had been facing repossession of the property.

The winner of the house was picked by a random number generator.

The Legalities

The UK Gambling Commission has issued a warning due the increased popularity of real estate raffles in the UK. Those setting up a real estate raffle and not complying with the rules could face a year in jail, plus a fine of £5,000.

In the UK, lotteries, tombolas and raffles are games of chance and can only be used to raise money for charity. UK gambling laws require such games to incorporate and element of skill and some free entries. So the answer is to incorporate multiple choice questions and a way to enter for free. The owner of the house which was raffled in Lancashire did exactly that. He sold 500,00 raffle tickets for £2 and accepted 12,000 free entries. Every entrant had answer a question to identify the architectural period of the house.

So if you are contemplating getting into a property raffle you are advised to take legal advice first and comply with the law in the jurisdiction where the property is located.

Interestingly, Dunstan Low has been asked to get involved in more property raffles including marketing a castle, a private island, a terrace of houses and even luxury apartments.

There has been a lot of interest in using the property sales method and many are entrepreneurs getting involved with business start-ups to facilitate property raffles. When you consider you could win a substantial property asset for a small fraction of the value it makes perfect sense.

Visit the raffle website for this country house.

Visit our web page for other UK Property Raffles.

Sources : The Independent and The Telegraph

If you like the west country there is also a cottage being raffled in Bristol.

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