A woman is giving away her $1.7 million home after being unable to find a buyer for the property.
Alla Wagner, from Millarville, Alberta, Canada, suffered a serious back injury last June which now makes navigating the stairs of her 3,800-square-foot home impossible.
Wagner put the property on the market but didn’t get much interest. She explained to CBC Daybreak Atlanta ‘I was told it was too high from market value, so I lowered the price and it still didn’t move at all’.
That’s when Wagner had a eureka moment, deciding to create a competition on social media to give away the home, including a wine cellar and piano room, to the lucky winner.
The Write a Letter, Win a House competition asks people to get creative and write a letter explaining how owning the house would change their life.
Charging people $25 to enter, Wagner hopes over 68,000 participate to ensure she earns back the value of her investment. A winner will only be selected if $1.7m is raised and if this is not the case, all entrants will be refunded.
You can enter by writing a maximum of 350 words in a letter sent by email or post along with the entry fee.
Although the deadline is in three months time, it’s due to end on April 5, Wagner may extend it to a maximum of six months.
Speaking to CBC Daybreak Atlanta, Wagner said she is looking forward to reading the variety of letters she will receive adding:
It doesn’t necessarily have to be a sob story. Because I’m a realist in my condition. I want it to be someone that’s going to enjoy the place and is going to love being here and fit in with the neighbourhood, because the neighbours are incredible people.
I’m not saying that’s the kind of couple or family I’m looking for, but it has to really compel my heart. It has to just really touch on my heartstrings and not necessarily because of a sad story but because of the motivation.
If somebody wants to write a poem, they can write a poem. If somebody wants to write five paragraphs telling me why is it important for them to get this place [they can].
I wanted to be creative but I don’t want [anyone] to be scared of writing like, ‘Oh, I’m not a good writer, so I’m not going to be able to to win’.
Wagner spoke to Global News:
500 letters will be selected as finalists and reviewed by a panel of independent judges. All applicants must be of 18 years or over and only one entry is allowed per person or household. Anyone in Wagner’s immediate or distant family are unable to apply.
Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.