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Criticism over Ringwood Megahome property competition Criticism over Ringwood Megahome property competition
(35 minutes later)
The owners of a £3m home have been criticised by entrants in a so-called property raffle draw to win it.The owners of a £3m home have been criticised by entrants in a so-called property raffle draw to win it.
Mark and Sharon Beresford offered their luxury home in Ringwood, Hampshire, as the prize in the draw, but sold fewer of the £25 tickets than expected. Mark and Sharon Beresford offered their luxury home in Ringwood, Hampshire, as the prize but only sold about £750,000 worth of the £25 tickets.
Entrants claimed the substitute £110,000 cash prize was too low.Entrants claimed the substitute £110,000 cash prize was too low.
Mr Beresford said he "fully complied" with all laws and competition rules and that he had incurred "very high costs" running the promotion.Mr Beresford said he "fully complied" with all laws and competition rules and that he had incurred "very high costs" running the promotion.
The Win a Megahome competition was launched in March 2018, with the 7,000sq ft Huf Haus property as the prize.The Win a Megahome competition was launched in March 2018, with the 7,000sq ft Huf Haus property as the prize.
After it closed at the end of the year, the couple announced "almost 30,000" tickets had been sold, which would have generated in the region of £750,000. After it closed at the end of the year, the couple announced "almost 30,000" tickets had been sold.
Under the terms and conditions, if fewer than 175,000 tickets were sold, a cash prize would be offered instead.Under the terms and conditions, if fewer than 175,000 tickets were sold, a cash prize would be offered instead.
The terms allowed the Beresfords to keep a quarter of the revenue, leaving the rest for prize money, minus the costs of promoting the competition.The terms allowed the Beresfords to keep a quarter of the revenue, leaving the rest for prize money, minus the costs of promoting the competition.
It left prize money of £110,070 which was won by an unnamed person from Christchurch.It left prize money of £110,070 which was won by an unnamed person from Christchurch.
Many people expressed anger and frustration on social media about the promotion costs and the competition still being promoted a day before it closed, even though there was little chance the house would be the main prize.Many people expressed anger and frustration on social media about the promotion costs and the competition still being promoted a day before it closed, even though there was little chance the house would be the main prize.
James Hill, who bought eight tickets with three friends, said: "After the competition people clearly wanted answers as to why the prize fund was so low."James Hill, who bought eight tickets with three friends, said: "After the competition people clearly wanted answers as to why the prize fund was so low."
Bob Holmes, who bought six tickets, said: "We live in a council house, so this would have been an absolute dream."Bob Holmes, who bought six tickets, said: "We live in a council house, so this would have been an absolute dream."
Mr Beresford insisted the eventual prize was still "substantial" and was calculated in accordance with the terms.Mr Beresford insisted the eventual prize was still "substantial" and was calculated in accordance with the terms.
In a statement, he said: "The costs incurred were very high and began in 2016 with extensive legal advice and opinions about the interpretation of the rules covering prize draw competitions.In a statement, he said: "The costs incurred were very high and began in 2016 with extensive legal advice and opinions about the interpretation of the rules covering prize draw competitions.
"To do this properly is neither cheap nor for the faint of heart. We will file our accounts in line with statutory requirements.""To do this properly is neither cheap nor for the faint of heart. We will file our accounts in line with statutory requirements."
Such property raffles, which include a question as part of the entry, are not considered as lotteries and are not regulated by the Gambling Commission.Such property raffles, which include a question as part of the entry, are not considered as lotteries and are not regulated by the Gambling Commission.
Jenny Ross of Which? Money said entrants should pay close attention to terms and conditions when entering property raffles.Jenny Ross of Which? Money said entrants should pay close attention to terms and conditions when entering property raffles.
"The number of failed housing raffles far outweighs the very small number of successes," she said."The number of failed housing raffles far outweighs the very small number of successes," she said.