How ‘house raffles’ are exploiting millennials trapped by Britain’s housing crisis

The winner of a raffle offering the chance to win a valuable home in London was handed a prize worth less than a third of the property’s value while the company behind the competition made more than £200,000.

An investigation into Raffle House, which operated the competition to win a house and has just launched two more, revealed the eventual payout was £173,000, much less than the advertised £650,000 value of the property.

Which?, the consumer group that carried out the investigation, has called for regulation on housing raffles, which have boomed in popularity in recent years as the housing crisis makes owning a home an impossible dream for many. 

Just one of the raffles publicised since 2017 has resulted in a property changing hands. This is because the operators build in clauses which mean that the house is not given away unless a minimum number of tickets are sold.

In this case, the competition’s terms and conditions stated that if a minimum of 120,000 tickets had not been sold then the winner would be given half the proceeds from the ticket sales.

Almost 81,000 tickets were sold at £5 each, generating revenue of £405,000. After deductions for costs the prize fund given to the winner was £173,000.