Home offered as prize in $100 essay contest

April 21, 2008 5:10:02 AM PDT
A couple have decided to give away their home to the winner of an essay contest. The catch: It costs $100 to enter, and the home will go only if at least 2,500 people sign up.

The state Gaming Control Board is examining whether Tiffany and Todd Lovell's contest qualifies as a raffle, which would make it illegal under state law, or a game of skill, which is allowed, said Greg Saunders, the board's deputy director.

"We haven't made that determination yet," he said.

The Lovells said the depressed housing market led them to try to move their 1,200-square-foot, three-bedroom, one-bathroom home through the essay contest. They are hoping to get at least 2,500 entries, which would net them $250,000. If they receive fewer than 2,500 entries, they said they would cancel the contest and return the entry fees.

The couple said entries would be judged by "various members of the Los Alamos County community."