As mortgage rates continue to soar accross the country, strapped buyers have turned to the luck of the draw.
Patent attorney John Redman and his wife, Carilyn, of Annandale succeeded in selling their home after months of fruitless efforts to find a buyer, while the local Boys Club gained about $75,000 to help its soccer program.
It all resulted from an unusual raffle Saturday night at the club's bingo hall, for which 2,000 tickets were sold at $100 each.
Mr. and Mrs. Nathan Price Jr. of Camp Springs, Md., bought three tickets. Two of their sons, 19-year-old Nathan III and 17-year-old Shawn, then pitched in $50 apiece to buy one of the chances from their parents -- the ticket that turned out to be the winner.
The Prices weren't on hand for the drawing. "I was in the shower when the Boys Club called," said Price, 47, a general contractor. "We all thought somebody was playing some kind of joke. But it was no joke."
The Redmans, who now live in Fort Monmouth, N.J., tried without success to sell the Cape Cod-style home through normal means from January to June, when they came up with the raffle concept. They suggested the idea to several local charitable organizations, and the Boys Club agreed to sponsor it.
Jack Herrity, chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, drew the winning ticket from a giant drum Saturday night. He commented that "this is the most innovative of all the ways I've seen to raise money" for community activities.
Everett Germaine, president of the Annandale Boys Club, said the club expected to net about $75,000 out of the total of $200,000 generated from raffle ticket sales. Of the remainder, $113,000 was paid to the Redmans for the home, while the rest went to cover sale closing costs and taxes.
The 1,999 raffle losers in Fairfax will have another chance to win a house in Howard County; The Columbia Citizens in Action/Columbia Jaycees will be selling tickets for a new three-bedroom house at 9644 Cold Star Ct., Columbia. The house is valued at approximately $125,000, and the tickets will be selling for $100 each. The house will be open for inspection and ticket sales from noon to 5 p.m. on the following Sundays: Sept. 13, 20 and 27, Oct. 4, 11, 18 and 25, and Nov. 1. The drawing will take place Nov. 22.
Proceeds from the auction will go to a number of nonprofit organizations in Howard County.
The Maryland Attorney General's office said in July that it was illegal in most of the state for an individual to raffle off a house for profit. However, the raffles were legal if "conducted by specified charitable, religious, educational, fraternal and civic organizations or volunteer fire companies.
Meanwhile, in Louisville, Ky., a 17-year-old high school athlete won a $100,000 house given away in a drawing.
Steve Wroble, a junior at St. Xavier High School in Louisville, had his name picked Monday from 3.5 million entrants by Ronald McDonald, the clown mascot of McDonald's hamburger restaurants, which sponsored the regional promotion along with the Home Builders Association of Louisville.
"I'm just thrilled to death, shocked. I haven't come down yet," Wroble said.
Gamblers and bargain-hunters lined up over a recent weekend in Hudson, Mass. to shell out $100 each in a high-stakes raffle with a door prize that has not only a door but a two-car garage and swimming pool.
The $76,000 four-bedroom colonial will be awarded to the winner Nov. 1 at the drawing, a contest spokesman said.
"We're selling 1,500 tickets and every weekend we're having open house," said Robert Kelley, an attorney for the Hudson Boys Club, which is hoping to come out about $70,000 ahead.
The club's board of directors bought the house -- recently appraised at $76,000 -- in a gamble to raise money for a building fund. Kelley said it was too soon to tell whether all the tickets would be sold.
House hunters who are interested in a chance to obtain a home through a raffle can write for the "Home Raffles" news letter, published six times or more a year. Subscription information is in the first issue. Write to Home Raffles Newsletter, P.O. Box 11008, Chicago, Ill. 60611