Swythamley Chapel


SK11 0SN

United Kingdom


Prize Competition CLOSED

Tickets Sold : 68,000 or thereabouts!


The draw took place on Sunday, April 15th, 2018 and the winner is:

From Bedfordshire, U.K…. 

Mrs Sterling.

Mrs Sterling reserves the right to not have her phone call broadcast publicly, but the 8 entrants who attended the draw enjoyed hearing how happy she was, on the phone!

Mrs Sterling won the cash prize (total cash sum) that was the alternative to the Chapel, as insufficient funds were accumulated to pay off the Chapel mortgage. Nobody is more disappointed than I am — I really wanted to give this place away, but English property laws don’t allow us to keep on a mortgage while relinquishing the house itself. The sole factor in not reaching the target was the bank’s failure to process £301,000 in September 2017, so right at the start.

If it hadn’t been for this, the house would have been given away but as you can appreciate, £301,000 is a fair sum and it meant I was unable to come anywhere close to clearing the house mortgage.

Hence, if a promoter doesn’t reach the target to pay the mortgage, the cash becomes the sole alternative.

A massive thank you to everyone. …those who took part, those who supported me along the way, those who commiserate!!!!!

The remainder of this website has now been deleted as obsolete, but I will leave the Home Page standing for a few more months.


UPDATE NOTE 15th June, 2018

The last months have been exhausting, and deflating, and there is still much legal work to be completed to wrap this up formally. Anyone who imagines that running a house competition is easy–think again. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone trying to move a house, at least not until the climate for these sorts of events becomes simplified.

It’s hard to be sufficiently transparent and yet still run it correctly, but there are many legal hoops to jump through so, be assured, it’s not as simple as picking a winner and then walking away immediately, making it quite hard to get it wrong! So, for those of you who are messaging saying I did this and that wrong–there is no single way in which to run a draw but I do know it stands up to scrutiny, as it’s had plenty of it and will have even more. Not only do promoters have to be able to demonstrate accuracy in picking the winner, but the winners also have to pass muster in how they entered and in meeting terms. In future, it would be way better to see this sector getting regulated and I’d be first to support that–not least, it would make it much easier to please everyone, something promoters just can’t do at present because everyone has a different view on how to run one of these things. It’s much harder than it looks or than you’d imagine (and harder than I imagined).

Some have pointed out that the number I awarded the prize to was in fact 1000 higher than the number drawn. Yes, that’s correct, and no, it’s not an error. The only error was in allowing a shot of the database to get into the draw video and cause confusion! The number drawn as the winner was correct, as an adjustment of the round number of 1000 had to be made simply because I had attendees there on the night.

Now bear in mind, I only had a draw video made to be more transparent but even that has caused issues, ha. The explanation is simple. I spent weeks cleaning this database and, as I was having physical attendees at the draw night and didn’t know who they all were (as they’d entered under others’ names, and so on) I had to ensure every entrant’s entries were on that database so they could ask to see themselves–even if they did not qualify to win for any reason.

A % of entries had incorrect answers or were otherwise disqualified and void, as is normal and desirable in a competition, and I chose to keep them on the database simply because of enquiring attendees and the likelihood of needing to show attendees’ entries to them; THIS presence of voids, however, is what makes a competition legal, in part. If everyone qualified, it wouldn’t be a competition at all.

Because I didn’t know which of the entrants would attend for certain, I kept the several hundred void entries in the database, but rounded these up to be the first 1000 lines on the database. This means, the first numbers were technically void so had one of those come up, I’d have explained and redrawn. But at least I knew every entrant was on the database, so could show this to the attending entrants, with nobody missing from it even if their entry was void for any reason.

So, I had to remember that, whatever number came up, I had to add 1000 to it and that would give the accurate winning entry.

I asked entrants to help me run the numbers themselves — so I wasn’t in sole charge of the generator– and even repeatedly asked for a volunteer to take the app on their own device, so everyone saw it was independent of me. I know everyone attending saw what they wished to see and there was great hesitancy on the attendees’ parts, in getting involved further!

So no, picking a number 1000 higher was no error, it was because I had rounded up the voids to represent those first lines on the d-base for completion’s sake, and then had to compensate by 1000 in the selection.

It was the easiest method for me and at no time did I expect a screenshot to be in the film. Mea culpa for not checking the first film, ha, but I was truly shattered and just wanted that to come out as soon as possible.

The number was picked fair and square by the random generator, all voids were excluded (there were 600+ odd but I had to round up to 1000 void lines for the sake of mental arithmetic under pressure–I am sure you could see how stressed I was!)

I had the film then re-edited when someone pointed out that the shot was on the screen, as all that shot did, was create confusion, for which I am sorry but the fact stands that the right number was drawn against the database as I always had to shift the numbers by 1000, irrespective of the number drawn. I had taken legal advice on this ahead and it was not a problem to run it that way. 

I did have an alternative of keeping the voids separate but, there was no reason to do that as they were contained in the first 1000 lines and marked in a different colour. Besides, I already had three database versions, as I’d had to also anonymise the whole damn thing by removing addresses in case entrants asked to see, which could have breached Data Protection. I didn’t need yet another d-base variant on the laptop; the files are enormous.

Remember: I had no need to invite anyone nor to film it, and did my best. I know the outcome was fair but as I say, there are many legalities to pass through in completing one of these events. The saddest part is that by trying my best to be transparent, it’s made the finalisation harder due to these queries which I cannot discuss further. The draw was final, and the correct number.

I did work in a quantitative Director role for 30 years, ha, and am capable to deduct the first 1000 off a database and end up with the right winner but of course, I more than understand why the shot caused confusion and I blame myself for not double-checking the video. However, any analysis of the database will support the method used; there is not just one way to draw a draw–I wish there were!!

The plan from now on had been to run more small and silly competitions of the type I did, that people enjoyed so much, but getting so much flak for trying my best leaves me not wanting to run more.

But, isn’t this the way all these events end? I have read the most horrible things about earlier promoters and this is something that indicates, to me, that regulation of this sector needs to happen, to remove some of the mystery and guesswork. Regulation would also make it easier for promoters. However, people still find ways to say that the National Lottery wasn’t run right, and so on–and they have so many admin staff and a whole lot of experience. The fact is; whatever we do, someone won’t be happy with it, and that’s why lawyers always say, the T&Cs must state that no correspondence will be entered into.

As mentioned during the running of the event, I am moving towards letting the house be used free of charge by entrants who spent above a certain level, up until it is sold. While legals are completed on the event itself, I am tidying, cleaning and decorating to get to a stage where this can happen.

The plan had been to run a mini-draw every month to pick a winner of the free stay, but as I have now binned the idea of more draws of any type, I am not sure how I will approach this but there won’t be any charges involved–it was something I wanted to do for the many who supported this venture.

Be good, take care!

Annie x