How to enter ‘Win a House’ competitions without buying a ticket
‘Win a house’ competitions have become more common in the UK over the last few years – and I regularly receive emails asking me to promote a new one on SuperLucky!
But I’m not a fan of lottery style promotions, so rather than telling you how fantastic it would be if you bought a £10 ticket and won a house, I’m sharing the details of how you can enter these ‘Win a House’ competitions for FREE* rather than buy a ticket…
(*well, the cost of a stamp…)
How do ‘Win a House’ promotions work?
The seller is struggling to sell their property, and they believe that giving it away in an online raffle is a great way to do it, as they’ll get lots of publicity and people will be excited that they could possibly win a house – or church, or castle! – for a few quid. Sometimes the promoter might advertise that they’ll give a donation to charity when they reach their target.
But if a promoter charges people to enter a prize draw (like Lotto), that’s a lottery – and the Gambling Commission has strict rules about running lotteries.
To ensure a ‘Win a House’ competition isn’t an illegal lottery, the promoter needs to add an element of skill – usually a question to answer or a puzzle to complete. Everyone who answers correctly then goes into a prize draw.
Only a few of these home raffles have been successful in reaching their target number of ticket sales – lucky Marie Segar became the owner of a country manor in 2017 and more recently, in 2020 Jemma Nicklin won a £545,000 farmhouse and Alison Bellamy won a £650,000 farmhouse in Shropshire!
Usually, a percentage of the cash raised from tickets sold is given away – minus the promoter’s administration fees, of course. The amount will depend on what the promoter states in the T&Cs (for example, ‘A cash draw will take place for 75% of the value of tickets sold after promotion costs’) – in some cases, a charity donation is guaranteed before the remaining prize fund is given to a winner. The organisers of ‘Win a Megahome’ were criticised when they didn’t sell enough tickets – they did sell £750,000 worth, but only awarded a cash prize of £110,000, claiming that the promotion incurred ‘very high costs’ for them.
Don’t forget that winning a property will also bring financial responsibilities – make sure you read the terms and conditions to check what’s included, and what’s not!
Home Raffles with FREE postal entry routes
Many ‘Win a House’ competitions offer a free postal entry route, but the details might not be immediately obvious. Rather than enter easily online, you’ll need to do a bit of writing and buy a stamp. But a stamp is still cheaper than a £5 ticket, so why not give it a go? Check the terms and conditions of a house raffle carefully to find the postal entry details.
Personally, I don’t recommend any house raffle websites apart from Omaze, which is well established, with thousands of smaller £10 prizes to be won, and supports charities with donations from every ticket sold. You can find details of the current Omaze postal entry draws in my blog post How to enter Omaze prize draws for free
Have you been tempted to enter one of these competitions, or do you think they’re a crazy idea? Let me know in the comments!