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 to enter Win a House competitions without buying a ticket

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.

The ‘WinAbode’ house raffle didn’t generate enough ticket sales – but they did give away a £102,141.10 prize to the winner!

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!

64 Responses

  1. Roxana says:

    Hi, Di. I discovered your website yesterday and I am so grateful for the resources you share.

    What’s your opinion /experience regarding Tramway Path? They are running a house raffle and I wonder if they are legitimate. Thank you.

    • Di says:

      I’ve had a few people ask me about, they’re probably one of the more established house raffle sites ands have been featured in press & on TV. I don’t recommend any raffle sites personally apart from Omaze, because they are well run and offer thousands of smaller prizes, plus a decent charitable donation from every ticket sold.

  2. Adam Mir says:

    Hy there,
    Is postal entry for all housed or will write name as ascot house or wimbledon house
    Please advise

    • Di says:

      You have to specify which house you’re entering for in the address, so if you want to enter both current draws, you’ll need to send a separate stamped postcard for each one.

      • Drew says:

        Hi, on the t&c’s for Omaze it says you need to accept their terms and conditions when entering. If you enter online and pay, you have to tick the box to say you’ve read and accept them. Via post would it be sensible to say you’ve read and accept the t&c’s??

        • Di says:

          It certainly doesn’t say that you have to do so (and I’ve never seen this required for a postal prize draw entry before), but certainly you could add a small line to say you agree to T&Cs and even sign it if you wanted to! It’s generally assumed that if you’ve taken the trouble to write a postcard and buy a stamp, then you would have read the T&Cs and by sending an entry it means you accept them..

  3. alice says:

    While the thought of winning an amazing house worth millions is lovely I get the feeling that these houses are hard to sell due to the price , i would never be able to afford the council tax on those properties while putting it on the market ,

  4. I did enter an omaze house one in the Cotswolds – funny enough I didn’t win and they didn’t reveal the winner just a code number.

  5. Glenys McGrath says:

    Has anyone who entered for free ever won?

    • Di says:

      I’ve not heard of anyone winning a house with a free entry, no! And I don’t think they would want to mention that in the publicity if it was the case!

  6. Roy Franklin says:

    did think about the properties in London but with high rates etc need immediate funding and deep pockets so no point taking part for us. pity they do not offer a cash section. eg pay an extra £1 …£2? house then comes with say £10k or more to alleviate first years rates and bills ? thus assuring prospective winner no hidden costs that have to be funded by winner making them out of pocket or forcing quick sale thus surely defeating winning in first place!

  7. Hi. This is Sue from Capel Jerusalem and Please note that our closing date is 14 February 2021, so there’s still time to win these 2 beautiful homes. In answer to a couple of your concerns. If you don’t want to put your date of birth on the postcard, just write a statement to confirm that you’re over 18. Alternatively complete a postcard but place it in an envelope to post it. We prefer postcards (less handling, in these Covid times) but we fully understand. All entries (paid for or free) are treated in the same way and all entries are stored on a secure database. Once you receive your ticket, you know that it’s guaranteed to be in the draw. If you buy just one ticket, you can earn unlimited free tickets, by sharing your personal link. In terms of the charity donation, we’re hoping to raise £100,000 for Alzheimer’s Society. If we have to resort to a cash prize, the winner will get 70% after costs. We have just increased our charity pledge to donate 15% to Alzheimer’s Society. If we reach our target, this increases to 20%. We will be running a Christmas prize draw which will include all entries – paid for and free. Good luck everyone! x

  8. Georgina Davies says:

    I entered two recently! The ‘free ‘ way and the ticket route. One being the Market Bosworth House. From reading your blog, now know I’m still in with a chance as the date for entering has been extended; I had thought all was lost and my prayers had fallen on deaf ears. On the verge of homelessness, I might still be saved by angels!

  9. Stephen says:

    I hope the postcard free entry routes are taken seriously and added to the draw for these competitions. I’m not convinced though, as I’ve never heard of a free entry winning a win a house competition. Call me sceptical, but I work off the facts…..

  10. r franklin says:

    did a win a home draw once and after competition closed they said as per terms ..not enough tickets sold and after taking out finical costs or promotion they were returning entry fees. Lost about 90% of cost of entering. I suspect many draws end this way! would advise not to enter unless prepared to lose all if not most of entry fee.

  11. Derek Grace says:

    Id love a house and would praise anyone who till the end of time who let me win

  12. ian brewer says:

    nice to be able to enter a comp without paying /but surely can I really have a chance of winning /or is the Post Office the only winner

  13. Ian says:

    This is so cool winning a house

  14. Liahos says:

    I have entered four of these house raffle one was a waste of time and £40 as they said there draw would take place sept but the winner was announced on 19th July this year. Hope I have better luck with the other comps.

  15. Pip says:

    I dont feel 100 per cent comfortable about adding my date of birth on entry forms as I think it may lead to identify theft/ cloning in the wrong hands if I write “i am over 18 will my entry be accepted?

    • Di says:

      It’s a good question – but I’m afraid I don’t think writing that would be sufficient. With such valuable prizes on offer, these promoters need to follow their own T&Cs precisely and I have a feeling they would discard any entries which didn’t follow the rules to the letter! If you’re not keen on sending a postcard with your details visible, for most of these draws it’s fine to send them on a piece of paper sealed inside an envelope instead.

  16. Anisa. Sema says:

    I’m in South Africa can I enter omaze competitions

  17. Sangeeta Francis says:

    Thank you so much Di, for all your guide, support and all help. Do appreciate all guidance from you.
    With lots of hope and happiness I have entered into postal entry for draw.

  18. Spencer P says:

    Sending personal details like my D.O.B by postcard would worry me however, you could save a fortune in entry costs by doing this

  19. Mark says:

    With the Omaze site in America….can we still enter from the UK ( or do we have to enter the Draws on the UK Omaze site only). Also, when it says send a blank piece of paper to the UK draw… they mean in addition to paper which has our contact details on? Thank you

  20. Khuthala says:

    Thank you so much for the information

  21. H says:

    Hi Di, re Cwellyn dream they change the question every so often, and intend to continue this. Answers can be easily found via any search engine. All the best

  22. Louise says:

    Do you think they really take a sealed down envelope (free) entry and put it into the draw??
    I would have thought that you would not have any chance because you have not paid for a ticket?
    BTW I still do them!! not sure if anyone has won this way?!

    • Di says:

      Yes, the promoter MUST include those entries – with such high profile competitions they would be in a lot of trouble if they weren’t doing it properly! They often make the free entry details tricky to find on their sites, in the hope that people will buy tickets rather than sifting through the T&Cs. I do know of people who’ve won by the free entry routes jn other pay-to-enter comps on radio and raffle websites (but I’ve not heard of a free entry winning a house competition yet!)

  23. Diane Duggan says:

    Where are the postcard entry details for the Elatus Developments Liverpool flat? I can’t find them anywhere on their website.

  24. Alexandra Best says:

    It would be nice to win a house or cash in chelmsford as I never win anything and it would be a miracle

  25. Garry Butcher says:

    Dancers Hill House competition closes on 25/12/19

  26. anne mashhadi says:

    I am a keen comper so have started entering these draws using the (hard to find) free entry route. Its worth the extra time as the houses are worth a lot more than most competition prizes. I would be happy to buy a ticket for a couple of pounds but personally wouldnt be prepared to pay a lot more such as £50.

    Yes there are costs e.g. upkeep of the property but if I am lucky enough to win a house “worth” say 5 million then I would be happy to sell it off for a lot less, use it as a holiday home or rent it out etc.

    No wins as yet but its early days. I treat this just like any other competition. Its a bit of fun and I may be lucky……

  27. Hi Di, great to see your support for the House Competitions, after several years of investigating this concept with HMRC and the Gambling Commission I have opened this up as a business, and selling other peoples homes for them. I only deal with modest homes, no castles, churches or mansions. The first property is in Emersons Green , Bristol. I do offer a FREE entry via Royal Mail however a ticket is just £2 and once you’ve bought a ticket you can register to receive a personal link which can be shared on all social media sites and via email, when someone clicks on it they are tracked back to you and if they buy a ticket then you get a FREE ticket, so there are 2 routes for FREE tickets. Please take a look and once again thanks for supporting this fantastic concept, Best regards Andrew

  28. Vuyelwa says:

    Waaaw I Would Like To Win A House Please

  29. Ben Rowton says:

    Hi Di,

    Many thanks for the interesting article and link to our competition. The HousePrizeCompetition is unfortunately one of those harder ones which is not a lottery and so doesn’t require us to allow free postal entries. Having free entries would of course negate the entire point of the competition which is designed to allow the owners to ‘sell’ their home via an alternative route.

    Our prize is not only the home fully paid for, but also £50k to ensure you can run it for a few years without any worries at all.

    I note that not many of these competitions make the required value, however we are well on the way to being successful following intense media coverage (ITV news featured us and it crashed the website!). We are also frequently offering promotional free weekend breaks on social media, so be sure to follow us for information.

  30. Carolyn Collins says:

    Hi Di

    Thanks for reply.

    Do you know if they have announced the winners of the London house in Hampton Hill,?
    The website has not been updated for a week. I have emailed them but no response.

    Does any of your subscribers know what has happened?


  31. Hi all, if you are interested in winning a Luxury Algarve Villa, check out – entries are £5, but if you buy 4 entries you get a 5th free! Good Luck!

  32. Carolyn Collins says:

    Hi Di

    I entered the London House Raffle and checked website last night.
    No house to win as not enough paid entries. Cash draws instead.
    Does this happen a lot with house raffles?

  33. Thank you so much for all this information – I’ve entered three of the competitions, wish me luck. 🙂

  34. Lisa says:

    Thanks for putting all the info together. I am very tempted to enter but if you won what would your options be? Could you sell, rent it or would you have to move?

  35. Chrissie says:

    Thank you. For the London one it says ‘please send your name, email, telephone number and address’ , do you think they want the answers to the questions also?

    • Di says:

      It’s not mentioned – but it won’t hurt to add that extra information on your entry!

    • Nicola says:

      Whatcha out for the mansion tax babe god even some 2bedrooms in London are classes as mansion with a massive yearly bill if it’s over 2,mill over 28000 a year

  36. mica says:

    Thank you for sharing this information. Should you send a A4 self addressed envelope or would a small envelope be ok?

    • Di says:

      I’m not entirely sure what it will be used for Mica! I would probably include an A5 envelope with a second class stamp on!

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