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Two years later, Roxboro woman calls off house raffle

Posted May 31, 2011

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— What seemed like a good idea during the stagnant market for existing home sales in 2009 never panned out for Mary Peterson.

The Person County woman has called off a raffle of her 3,900-square-foot house on 11 acres on Cedar Grove Church Road near Roxboro after failing to sell 20,000 raffle tickets at $20 each.

Peterson said her family built their dream house in 2001 but moved to Montana to take a better job shortly after the house was completed. She said she tried to sell the house, but the deals didn't pan out.

She came up with the raffle idea after the real estate market collapsed. Any proceeds above $400,000 were to go to the Grizzly Wolf Discovery Center in Montana.

She extended the deadline to buy tickets several times but wound up selling only 14,500 tickets. So, she recently canceled the raffle and put the house back on the market.

"It's been a headache, a major headache, a lot of disappointments, a lot of sadness," she said Tuesday.

Peterson is now returning money to all ticket-buyers, keeping $1 back from each as a processing fee.

"Everybody will get a refund. They are getting $19 per ticket purchased. They will get a check in the mail," she said.

House raffle ticket Two years later, Roxboro woman calls off house raffle

She said she hopes to have all refunds made by the end of July, but she has had trouble getting in touch with some buyers who have moved or changed email addresses. She asks that anyone who bought a raffle ticket and didn't get an email from her recently about the cancellation contact her at cedargroverox@hotmail.com.

Peterson said she will likely end up losing about $10,000 on the raffle after factoring in the cost of advertising and running it, as well as the postage to return the money to ticket-buyers.

"This was not a scam by any stretch of the imagination," she said. "I so wanted this raffle to happen and this house to go to a family that would love it and enjoy it, and I would be able to go home and be with my family."

35 Comments

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  • cedargroverox Jun 1, 2011

    Just to clarify the amount of funds everyone thinks I have made on this raffle,you need to know how it all cost. Ninety percent of the tickets were purchased via a credit card. Of the $20.00 that was paid for the purchase of a ticket, the raffle only saw $18.25, so I had to replace the funds that were taken from everyone purchasing a ticket by the merchants account. The cost from a merchants account is done by the swipe and a percent. Visa and Mastercard take the least, American Express and Discover take almost double the amount that the others do. So there were no extra funds. That is why there is a $1 processing fee to refund the tickets, plus the postage and processing is time consuming a expensive. This fee was documented on all websites that advertised the house. Thank all of you who participated in this raffle, I only wish one of you could have won the house and I could have gone home.
    Mary Peterson

  • Con Amor brings luv and laughter Jun 1, 2011

    Yes, we sure coulda Ambergail! Getting a house for $20 woulda left me with plenty left over for a disco ball & sound system!

  • FromClayton Jun 1, 2011

    read the article again superman. she did not overprice the house at all. you could buy a ticket for $20, and if you win, you would get the house. $400k was what she expected to make if she sold all the tickets... but the house could be yours for just $20.

    still think con and I could have pimped it! ;-)

  • superman Jun 1, 2011

    She over priced the house for the area. Almost half a million in Person County? Not that many people willing to buy a vacation cabin for that much money. Judging from the picture it is certainly not a house that I would buy. The acreage is good but I hope there wouldnt be that much grass to mow and maintain.

  • FromClayton Jun 1, 2011

    yeah sounds like she did not advertise it well. she could have gone to the civitan club or rotery or whatever civic club she chose, had them take the proceeds above a certian amount and they would have moved ever single one of those tickets. Heck, I could have done it... me and ConAmor could have pimped that house... ;-)

  • Con Amor brings luv and laughter Jun 1, 2011

    Dang, I hate it didnt work out for her. I would have loved to have gotten in on such a raffle. I hadnt heard about it.. And I live in Person Co.. She shoulda put up pictures & signs around town, and in all the stores in surrounding towns too. I never saw anything bout it anywhere.

  • OSX May 31, 2011

    Nice sized house but it is in ROXBORO !!!!!! She should have let it go for 290k. What a rip off.

  • RB aka Spirit Warrior Woman May 31, 2011

    everything - "what you don't seem to realize is that if she keeps the $1 per ticket, she is going to be $14,500 better off than she would be if she refunded the entire $20. It doesn't matter whether she ends up on the plus or minus side, she is still keeping $14,500 of the money to use to do the refunds rather than spending her own money."

    If one considers her time and the processing of this as free.

    If this all went through Paypal or something similar, it will cost her to refund it.

    Or didn't you think of that?

    Cause I doubt few people sent her a check for $20 in the mail.

  • EverythingTicksMeOff May 31, 2011

    daycock, what you don't seem to realize is that if she keeps the $1 per ticket, she is going to be $14,500 better off than she would be if she refunded the entire $20. It doesn't matter whether she ends up on the plus or minus side, she is still keeping $14,500 of the money to use to do the refunds rather than spending her own money. Suppose she said she would keep $15 of each person's ticket fee so she could send a $5 refund by overnight express? Gee, she isn't getting the money, is she?

    She gambled and lost. She should pay the price. Imagine going into a Vegas casino, losing a bundle of money and then tell the casino you are charging them a processing fee to write them the check. Uh huh.

  • jungleflu May 31, 2011

    14,500 plus all the interest

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