By Stacey Leasca
January 23, 2019

All Alla Wagner of Alberta, Canada wanted to do was sell her home. But, after she put it on the market in 2018, she soon realized it wasn’t garnering the interest she was looking for. So, she decided to take a different route and is now looking to give away the home — which is valued at $1.7 million — for just $25.

“Being someone used to a cosmopolitan lifestyle, living in the country was doubtful for me, until my family visited my friend in Millarville,” Wagner wrote in a Facebook post announcing her unusual contest. “Straightaway, I fell in love with the rolling hills, rich vegetation and felt a sense of belonging and freedom. Every time we traveled to our friend’s property, we would drive by the beautiful pond and the new development area that mesmerized my family, so we were determined to live here.”

Credit: Ken Zacharias/Courtesy of Alla Wagner

Soon, Wagner’s dream came true and she moved into her home, which came with 5,000 square feet of living space, along with three bedrooms, a wine cellar, detailed woodwork throughout, a massive chef’s kitchen, a full library, and more.

“My dream came true, and now waking up in the mornings my first sights are spectacular views from my bedroom windows – whether bright sunny days, clouds rolling across the sky, or a mysterious fog rising from the pond. I love watching flocks of geese and ducks traveling to and from the pond, seeing the open skies, starry nights, wildlife, and views of the snow-packed mountains. No matter which window in the house I look out of, the view is beautiful. This area and our home is a writer’s or artist’s paradise!”

Credit: Ken Zacharias/Courtesy of Alla Wagner

However, in June of 2018, Wagner injured her back, which meant she could no longer care for the large house any longer. So, she listed the property. But, when nobody bit, she came up with a different solution that she explained was inspired by a few ingenious Americans.

“In 2015, there was a contest started by the owner of the Center Lovell Inn — ‘Write a 200-Word Essay, Win a Historic Inn in Maine.’ It was such an exciting idea that for a long time the story and the event was the subject of my admiration. After some research, I discovered that a wonderful film that I actually saw in 1996 - The Spitfire Grill - motivated this contest and others in the USA and Canada,” Wagner explained in her Facebook post.

So she decided a contest was the way to go to ensure her home was not only sold but also sold to the right person. So, here’s how her contest works: Anyone interested in potentially winning the home can write a 350-word essay answering the question: “Why would moving to this lakefront dream home change your life?”

Credit: Ken Zacharias/Courtesy of Alla Wagner

Of course, there is a small catch. All entrants must also submit an entry fee of $25. And, before the home can be given to the winner the total of all the entry fees must reach the $1.7 million listing price, GlobalNews explained. This means Wagner will have to receive 68,000 letters in total. And, if the home is sold to someone outright before the competition is over the competition will be null and void. However, in this case, everyone who entered will receive a full refund. A panel of judges will ultimately review the essays and choose the winner.

So, what are you waiting for? Get writing, then invite us over when you win.