This isn’t a new concept. In a down real estate market some people chose to get creative when they need to get the equity out of their home or change their living situation.
Alla Wagner is no different. When she experienced a back injury and she could no longer move freely about her home, she decided to sell it. After a period of time without any offers, she decided to host a contest. Great idea in theory. However, without the legal steps in place, she most likely will find herself in hot water.
I read the ‘rules’ and realized she did not do her due diligence. There was no way a lawyer wrote those rules. (You can read them for yourself here.)
The first issue I have is; the number of entries she requires in the time period she set out. 68,000 paid entries in 3 months. Some well-marketed, free-to-enter, contests do not get that level of traction. I do not see Alla reaching her goal, even with the extension timeline she buffered in.
The second is; the logistical time it would take if she actually received 68,000 entries. How in the world would she, and her fellow judges (most likely friends and family) wade through that many essays in a short period of time?
Plus, there are no eligibility parameters, opening, and closing dates, or judging criteria, just to name three missing pieces.
The clause that bothered me the most was:
- NOT a lottery: As per AGLC regulations, this contest is not a lottery as it is not a random draw.
I am guessing she did not consult the Alberta Gaming Liquor & Cannabis Commission (AGLC) because I did and this is the response I received:
The Alberta Gaming Liquor & Cannabis Commission (AGLC) has been made aware of this proposed contest by way of media reports and calls from the general public. The AGLC can confirm no raffle license has been issued with respect to this contest and the entire matter has been referred to the AGLC Integrated Investigation Team (AIIT) for a full review of the legality of the contest. The AIIT is comprised of members of Alberta police services seconded to the AGLC whose mandate includes reviewing contests of this nature to ensure they are being operated legally. As the contest is now under review by the police, the AGLC cannot comment any further on the matter at this time.
If you decide to run a contest of any kind, for your office, small business, etc. be sure to consult with a promotional lawyer and stay on the right side of the law along with protecting yourself.
- What is Sweepstakes Law?
- What Legal Issues Come up When Running a Contest or Giveaway?
- Be a Winner: Complying with Canadian Contest Laws
- Running an online contest, don’t run afoul of the law
This isn’t the first time someone has tried to give away their house in a contest to reap the full value of the property and it won’t be the last.
Have you ever paid a fee to enter a contest?