House raffle scrapped, refunds issued


For just $20, ticket buyers could own the custom-built house on 11 acres that overlooks a pond.

But two years later, the raffle has not been held. Mary Peterson has taken down the web page advertising the deal and told ABC11 she has decided to call it off because of poor ticket sales. She said she had to sell a minimum of 20,000 tickets to pay off her mortgage and any profit she made after paying off the loan and expenses would go to charity.

"We sold 15,000 (tickets) and refunded about 1,800, so we were behind, going more and more behind, and I've been extending this for two years and it was time to call it," said Peterson.

Now, Peterson says she has the task of refunding the $300,000 she has collected. Peterson admits reaching some ticket buyers won't be easy.

"Yes, there are people I don't know how to get refunds to. I just got the name, that's it, and I'm like no phone number, no email address, and it's just created a nightmare," she said.

And some are unhappy with how the situation has been handled.

"I feel as though this was not a legitimate raffle and you have taken advantage of people. You have had mine and other people's money tied up for 1-1/2 years. I would like my refund with the interest that you incurred," wrote one person on Facebook.

Peterson says she's lost money on the raffle.

"Advertising, all that came out of my pocket, about $10,000 in advertising, stamps, envelopes, mailing is not cheap," she said.

Peterson is refunding $19 of the $20 ticket purchase price. She said she is keeping $1 for postage and handling.

If you bought a ticket and want a refund, email her at:

As for the house, it's back on the market.

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