NM couple call off home giveaway contest

June 21, 2008 7:39:37 PM PDT
A New Mexico couple have ended their effort to award their home to the winner of an essay contest, citing a dearth of entries. Todd and Tiffany Lovell received only 675 entries by Friday's deadline, well short of the 2,500 they had hoped for.

"We've decided to stay here, to do some updates and whatnot," Todd Lovell told The Albuquerque Journal. "As of right now, we're putting laminate flooring in the whole house. Our house is kind of growing on us."

The Lovells charged $100 per 500-word essay to enter the contest. They were hoping 2,500 entries would have netted them $250,000.

The Lovells have said they would return the entry fees if they canceled the contest.

Todd Lovell said some people wrote about the house, "or what the house is," while others tackled political issues.

The couple said the depressed housing market led them to try to move the 1,200-square-foot, three-bedroom, one-bathroom home through the contest.