Gambling Commission shuts down property raffle as question was ‘too easy’

A retired couple trying to sell their property in an online raffle have been forced to remove the competition and refund entrants.

Robert and Avril Smith had set up a competition last year that offered their £500,000 four-bedroom home in the tiny Yorkshire village of Grosmont as a prize.

Entrants had to buy a ticket for £10 and answer a question to enter, while up to £60,000 was also set to be donated to Cancer Research.

Avril had cancer a decade ago and they lost a daughter to the condition as well.

However, Robert told EYE that the Gambling Commission had deemed the competition question – What year did the North Yorkshire Railway open? – too easy.

He told EYE: “We had three answers to choose from.

“The Gambling Commission decided that this question was too easy to answer and required no skill or knowledge as the answer could be found on Google.

“To avoid prosecution and further legal fees we decided to close the competition.

“We had more than 5,000 entrants and about 6% had got the answer wrong.

“Perhaps if we had done spot the ball it may have been different. We did argue the case but they were extremely firm.”

The couple are now focusing on refunding entrants and have also said they are open to direct offers, but will not be using an estate agent for now.

In case readers are wondering, the answer to the competition question is 1836.


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  1. LordElpus56


    You can find virtually ANY quiz answer on Google!

    1. Bless You

      Can’t gambling commission shut down pay any way purplebricks then? Only get evens when u gamble £1000 with them.

  2. Countrybumpkin

    Do you think they would have shut this down if the question was… “who is the housing minister?”
    How has any housing minister assisted the property sales and lettings industry in the last ten years?
    a) nil b) nil or c) nil

  3. J1

    I doubt there has ever been a successful property raffle

  4. Thomas Flowers

    How about:

    Gambling Commission shuts down the largest call-center estate agent as it was too easy for 10,000s of their users to lose circa £1000 plus?

    If the Gambling Commission require a much tougher question perhaps Mr and Mrs Smith should have asked :

    ‘ What % of Purple Brick users actually complete on a deal through Purple Bricks as I cannot get a definitive answer from Google or anywhere?

    Surely any gamble must have published audited odds?


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