House Raffle Investigated


Hello All,

We’re roasting here in New Mexico, and last week there were tornados — quite unusual.  I hope you’re enjoying some nice summer weather.

An article regarding a house raffle being investigated in Florida caught my eye. The raffle was to help a nonprofit raising funds to help children with cancer. The prize home was worth 2 million, and the tickets were $80 each. A more than reasonable price for such a prize. However, the charity did not sell enough tickets, they only raised $24,000 – not enough to purchase the prize home. Ticket buyers became uneasy, didn’t know if a drawing was held although there was a winner, but the winner didn’t get the house.

Here’s my take on this dilemma: It appears that there was a huge miscommunication. Their rules state that if they did not sell enough tickets to purchase the prize home, the winner would receive half the funds raised, and that is what they did. However, when the charity realized they could not sell enough tickets, a letter should have gone out to all ticket buyers with this announcement–citing the rules. The drawing should have been a public drawing, with TV coverage so everything is in the open. Extending the drawing for 90 days, was most probably in the rules also, so no law breaking there.  Without knowing all the particulars, I don’t see that this Charity did anything illegal except that they failed to communicate.

You must always communicate with ticket buyers. Let them know up-front what will happen if not enough tickets are sold to award the grand prize home. People will still want to purchase a ticket,  as long as they have a chance to win a significant prize, and that if the drawing is called off altogether, the money paid for tickets will be returned. The house raffles I coordinated, we had to extend the drawing date, and our rules allowed us to do that, but at the end of the extended date,  we had a drawing, it was attended by hundreds of people and the person who drew the tickets was a well known TV personality in the city. We openly communicated along the way with ticket buyers.

To your success!

Diane Giraudo McDermott


Categories : Just the Tips

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What Others Are Saying:

“The book really does take you through the entire process. I feel like Diane holds your hand from beginning to end from qualifying the grand prize home to what happens after the drawing. I’m a homeowner and I’ve had difficulty selling my beautiful home. Now I know what it takes to sell my home in a raffle. I know exactly what type of nonprofit I need to partner with on my house raffle and what to expect. I’m excited to get started.”

-Karen L. Furguson, Homeowner in Tucson, Arizona

"Consulting with Diane by phone has been invaluable. Her knowledge on the subject of house raffles is enormous, and she has really given us a better understanding of the process as we move forward with our house raffle. She has been more than willing to take the time needed in answering all of our questions. After consulting with Diane, we feel we have a much better chance of putting together a successful house raffle and are excited about making it happen."

Chip Thompson, homeowner in Rehoboth, Delaware

"'I Sold My House in a Raffle' is an excellent example of creative marketing. The best marketers think "out of the box" and Diane shows that you can really sell your house in a raffle!"

-Ali Pervex, International Best Selling Author, 'Get Your Black Belt in Marketing', www.blackbeltinmarketing.com

“What a great marketing tool! This is a hot new method to get a property sold. My clients love this idea—I already have my first raffle house lined up. I’ll use Diane’s process to get and sell more listings.”

Jack C. Rosemary – California Real Estate Broker, 26 years experience

“I attended Diane’s workshop on February 27th, and she’s got it all together. Not only does she know how to pull off a house raffle but you can tell that she was a teacher because she knows how to convey the information. She broke the process into bite-size pieces and gave us exercises to complete so we were involved. Before anyone attempts a house raffle, they should attend Diane’s workshop–there’s more to it than one could imagine.”

-Ron Thomas, Real Estate Investor for 20 years, Albuquerque, New Mexico