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 several of 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?
Here are details of the postal entry routes for some of the current ‘win a house’ promotions. You can usually only send one postal entry per competition, but check the rules first. Good luck!
www.omaze.co.uk – London townhouse worth £3million
Omaze is a super popular American website, which started off featuring once-in-a-lifetime celebrity prize draws which raised funds for charity. They’ve now expanded and give away cars and houses – always with a percentage going to charity. All their draws can be entered for free. For particular million pound house draw on the UK Omaze website, 80% of the money raised will go to the British Heart Foundation.
- Cost: £10 for 15 entries, £25 for 40 entries, £50 for 85 entries, or £150 for 320 entries
- Free entry route: send a piece of paper or postcard with a 1st or 2nd class stamp to: Omaze Million Pound House Draw – London, Omaze Scrutineers, Civica Election Services, 33 Clarendon Road, London N8 0NW. Include your name, address, date of birth, telephone number, and email address. Postal entries are unlimited, but must be sent separately.
- As well as the grand prize draw – where the house will be awarded, as well as 2,001 gift card prizes, there are also early bird prize draws to win £10k of tech, Jaguar F-Type Coupe and a VW California Ocean – AND weekly prize draws for £1000 cash!
- Ends 26 March 2021.
www.dreamhomeprizedraw.com – Win ‘Painter’s Keep’ in West Sussex
- £2 a ticket
- Question to answer: Which famous motor racing circuit is closest to Kingston Gorse? – I suggest Goodwood
- Free entry route: send a 1st class postcard to Dream Home Prize Draw, Painter’s Keep, Seaview Avenue, Kingston Gorse, Nr East Preston BN16 1RZ. Include your name, telephone number, email address, postal address, date of birth, and answer to the question.
- End date has been extended to 30 November 2020.
www.winmydreambrightonhome.co.uk – Win a Brighton apartment
- £2 a ticket
- Question to answer: What is the Rockinghorse charity? I suggest The fundraising arm of The Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital Brighton
- Free entry route: enter by post to Fiona Koderisch, Flat 11 Rochester Mansions, Hove BN3 2HA. Include an email address, telephone number, and answer to the question.
- Ends 11 December 2020.
www.winyourdream.com – Win a Market Bosworth eco house worth £1.2m
- £2 a ticket
- Question to answer: In which year was the Battle of Bosworth? – I suggest 1485
- Free entry route: send a 1st class postcard or paper inside an envelope to: Win Your Dream Competitions Ltd (Hideaway), Furness Gate, Furness Business Park, Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, LA14 2PE. Include your full name, address, telephone number and email address, as well as the answer to the question.
- End date has been extended to 18 December 2020
www.winadreamproperty.co.uk – Win 2 homes in a converted Gwynedd chapel worth £685k
- £3 a ticket (or 4 for £10)
- Question to answer: The Talyllyn railway runs from Abergynolwyn to the coast at Tywyn. How many steam locomotives does the railway have? – I suggest B. 6
- Free entry route: send a 1st class postcard (not in an envelope) to Win A Dream Property, Capel Jerusalem, Llanegryn Street, Abergynolwyn, Gwynedd, LL36 9YE. Include the answer to the question, plus your name, address, date of birth, email address and telephone number, plus confirmation that the entrant has read and accepted the T&Cs.
- Ends 14 February 2020
www.winmydreamhome.com – Win a London flat worth over £500k
- £5 a ticket
- Question to answer is currently: What is H2O the chemical symbol of ? – I suggest WATER
- Free entry route: send a postcard to Win My Dream Home, Kinetic Business Centre, Theobald Street, Elstree WD6 4PJ. Include your name, telephone/mobile number and email address – plus the answer.
- Ends 31 December 2020
www.drawahouse.com – Aidrie house worth £570,000
- £2.50 a ticket (plus £1 booking fee)
- Question to answer is Which year was Airdrie’s observatory first established? – I suggest 1896
- Free entry route: send a sealed envelope with a 1st class stamp to: Draw A House, 62 Alexander Street, Airdrie, North Lanarkshire ML6 0BD. Inside you must include an unsealed envelope with a first class stamp addressed to yourself, PLUS inside that envelope you should include your phone number, email address and answer on a piece of paper (note that the requirement for this extra stamped envelope has been added to the T&Cs recently)
- Ends 20 December 2020 (extended from March due to Covid-19)
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!