A couple who held a raffle to sell their £3m home have scrapped the competition and changed the prize to just £100,000.
Mark and Sharon Beresford set up the quirky competition in an attempt to sell their riverside home but sold only 30,000 of the 250,000 £25 tickets.
They raised £750,000 in the process rather the £4.3m that would have triggered the prize draw for the six bed house in Ringwood, Hants.
Instead, they offered cash prize with one lucky woman winning £110,000 – 27 times less than the value of the property.
In their terms and conditions, the Beresfords stated that any cash prize would be to the value to 75 per cent of the ticket sales, after promotion costs were taken out.
The couple maintain they racked up £640,000 in advertising, marketing, PR and legal costs for the competition.
Now some punters who entered the competition are asking questions about the validity of the novelty raffle.
The Beresfords’ Twitter handle @WinAMegaHome has been deleted in the face of an stinging criticism from users.
Rebecca Gleaves, from Bournemouth, said: “It might be legal but that doesn’t make it okay morally.”
Richard Reddington, from London, added: “I will never enter another competition like this again.”
Graham Nash, from Poole, Dorset, wrote: “Not a bad return admittedly, but would be interested to see the breakdown of the costs.”
Michelle Philpott, from Poole, posted: “I think all who entered should be given their money back. £600,000 on promotional costs?”
The draw was made by a random number selector computer at Sterling Lottery Management, which is approved and audited by the Gambling Commission.
It selected 100 tickets and local MP Christopher Chope drew the winner from that number.
An independent solicitor was also present at the time to oversee the procedure.
The Beresford decided to launch the raffle after several offers for their Huf Haus-style home called Avon Place home fell through.
The couple had even received interest from an England international footballer but had been unable to find a buyer.
Despite being unable to sell their home through the raffle, the couple said they don’t regret their decision.
They also denied any wrongdoing and said they had complied with both competition rules and relevant laws.
Mr Beresford, a company director, said: “We fully complied with all of the competition rules and relevant laws in order to launch the competition.
“We calculated the prize exactly as described in the terms and conditions, which all entrants had to accept.
“We have spent huge sums of money on advertising that failed to cover its costs.
“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.
“By the time the competition was launched, costs were already into six figures – to do this properly is neither cheap nor for the faint of heart.
“We will file our accounts in line with statutory requirements.”