"Its involved planning the process from scratch, following up on gambling guidelines, discussing it with a variety of professionals, responding to queries and much more."
A businesswoman who is launching an online competition to sell her million pound home has spent THOUSANDS of hours working on the contest.
Hat-maker Tricia Hamilton, who runs Tricia Designs, is set to sell her 19th century cottage through a spot the hatcompetition - with tickets at £10 a go.
And the mum-of-two has revealed she has personally spent 1,500 HOURS working on the process - and enlisted the help of a highly qualified team of professionals.
Tricia, who hopes to use the proceeds from the sale to reinvest in her business and give a donation to charity, said: “It’s been hard work but good fun. It’s a great talking point when I meet people.
“It’s involved planning the process from scratch, following up on gambling guidelines, discussing it with a variety of professionals, responding to queries and much more."
The property, called Roselands, is a four-bedroom cottage located in Pill, near Bristol. It boasts 17 rooms overall, over three floors, including three bathrooms, two reception rooms, and several outhouses.
Built in 1829 and coming with half an acre of land, it is fitted with solar panels and also has a vegetable garden.The lucky winner will even have all fees and stamp duty paid for.
It has been on the market for over a year. Tricia, who describes it as unique and like a ‘Tardis,’ said she hadn’t found the ‘right buyer’ - so decided to try the innovative approach.
Rules around selling your home through an online competition
Last year the Gambling Commission highlighted how flouting betting rules by offering a house as prize could lead to hefty fines or even jail.
Other competitions have simply been closed down with the entrants’ money refunded.
Colin Bell is a commercial intellectual property partner at Brabners law firm in Liverpool, with expertise in prize competitions. He has advised Tricia Hamilton on the legality of her model.
Colin, who has dealt with such competitions for almost 10 years, said: “It can be a nice way for someone to get a nice house at a very low cost and for the seller to recover a large payment for their property, when the property market may otherwise be squeezed.
“Those who have successfully taken this route have usually taken appropriate advice from lawyers, tax advisers, accountants, as well as people in marketing and PR to help it gain traction.
“The tickets usually sell for between £10 and £30. A £10 ticket is seen a fairly cheap investment – and with greater odds of winning than the lottery.”
Raffles offering prizes over a certain value are illegal, but a competition is an option.
But Colin, who has seen a spike in such competitions recently, said there are strict rules around a paid-for spot the ball contest.
Colin, who deals with numerous prize competitions, free draws and promotions each year, said: “It’s about making sure you do not fall foul of the gambling commission or the advertising standards.
“The competition cannot rely on pure chance but requires entrants to exercise skill or judgment or to display knowledge.
“Some people decide to develop this as a business model to sell houses or luxury items. Once they have a procedure in place, they can roll it out and reach new markets.”
The competition will ask entrants to watch an interactive video and mark the spot a hat is thrown into the air.
The person closest to the mark will win. In the event there is more than one entry matching, or equally closest, it will go into a tie break until a winner is found. An independent judge will oversee the competition.
· To register your interest to be in with a chance to win Tricia’s house, visit www.winmyhouse.online