'Win a home' contest falls flat

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By Gabriel Vasquez

It sounded too good to be true. But some 675 people tried anyway.

The “win a home” essay contest that gave people a chance to win Todd and Tiffany Lovell’s White Rock home fizzled last month, a result of failing to collect the 2,500 entries needed to keep the contest running.

For an entrance fee of $100 and a 500-word essay on the topic of their choice, contestants were given a chance to win the couple’s three-bedroom, 1,200-square-foot home with a remodeled bathroom, one-car garage, wood shop, Jacuzzi and outdoor fireplace.

In March, the couple set up winahome.blogspot.com, a website outlining the rules of the contest and asking participants from all over the country to join the hunt for the biggest bargain on the real estate market.

“It needed to pop or have a ‘wow’ factor,” Tiffany told the Monitor earlier this year.

The plan was to receive 2,500 entries by June 20, netting the couple a $250,000, roughly the value of the home.

Because the current housing market in Los Alamos County heavily favors buyers, the couple would most likely have taken a loss by selling the house as is, so they chose the essay contest to level the playing field.

At first, the Lovells’ plan took off.

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