$1.3 million Vail Valley house for $100?
Vail, CO Colorado
EAGLE-VAIL, Colorado – The Vail Academy says its home raffle is different from other home raffles in the country.
This is the first home raffle in Vail, the winner gets $450,000 for taxes and people, who refer other contestants to the raffle can win extra, said Steve Michonski, Vail Academy treasurer.
Rick Chastain, a local marketing consultant and Vail Academy parent, said the raffle is, “as groundbreaking as you can get in terms of innovative ways to raise money.”
“Everyone wins, some lucky participant will win a ($1.35 million) dream home, someone will win $25,000 for referring them, and the students at the Vail Academy will benefit immensely,” Michonski said.
The price for raffle tickets varies depending on the amount of tickets purchased. One ticket costs $100, three purchased together cost $250, and five cost $400. Michonski said that “unlike lotteries, buying multiple tickets will increase your chances of winning quite a bit.”
Money from the raffle will be used to give financial aid to students who need help paying for tuition at the Eagle-Vail private school Michonski said.
Some families need help because of the current economy. “Our hope is to increase the opportunity for students to attend,” he said.
Many contestants have asked what happens if the school doesn’t sell enough tickets to purchase the Eagle-Vail home.
“If we don’t reach the minimum, the grand prize winner receives 35 percent of the gross revenue of the raffle,” Michonski said.
The Vail Academy needs to sell a minimum of 27,000 tickets to purchase and award the home to the grand prize winner.
The referral has kept the Vail Academy confident because it encourages word of mouth. The fundraiser has been successful even though the school had held off on its marketing campaign until this month.
“With the increased number of referrals we’re seeing, we think our goal of ($1.3 million by) July 21st is fully attainable,” Michonski said.
For every referred entry those spreading the word are entered into a “refer-A-friend” drawing for $12,500, he said. The person who refers the grand prize winner will receive $25,000.
People have used Facebook, Craigslist, and Twitter to refer large amounts of contestants. Others have handed out pamphlets at sports events, and some have e-mailed entire databases, he said, trying to increase their chances of a referral prize.
The Vail Academy has held early bird drawings to get people interested in the raffle early on. Early bird prizes award $10,000 to three people every three weeks throughout the raffle. The earlier people enter, the better the chance they have to win, Michonski said.
Winners of smaller prizes are still eligible for the grand prize, and all those who enter stay eligible for following early bird drawings, he said.
The current owner of the home also benefits. The owner wanted to sell but because “market conditions deteriorated,” Michonski said, “he’s excited to accomplish both moving the property and assisting the school.”
The home “features … all the finishes one has come to expect in our Valley,” Michonski said, “from granite to hand-hewn wood floors.”
It has four bedrooms, 3 1/2 bathrooms, a family room, and two fireplaces, he said.
The Vail Academy has invested a lot to develop this unusual fundraiser.
“With all that completed, we’d like to make it an event that occurs every year or two,” he said.
Up until now, the county has been a referral agency relegated to commenting on the plan but that could change if developers plan water service extension to the site