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Oh Great, Another of Those Write-an-Essay-to-Win-a-House Contests

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Another one of those Write An Essay To Win a House contests has popped up, this one in Indiana, where a 4,000-square-foot house is being award to the winner of a 200-word essay contest (entry fee: $199). The annoying thing about these contests is not that they exist, but the fact that each one is painted as the homeowner "giving away" the house for far below market value when the reality of the situation, clearly, is anything but. Each of these contests has had a minimum number of entrants that ensures that the seller will be getting at least close too—and in some cases well above—whatever the property would fetch on the open market. Which is fine, and very clever. Good for them! But let's not go around saying that this is some unprecedented act of generosity. And let's also not pretend that the essays themselves are an important part of this, because not even the people selling the houses are pretending that. The homeowner in this particular contest has asked her former college to appoint a panel of judges so that she doesn't have to go into the trouble of reading them. ("I do not want the job to judging the essays, that would be tough," Fox59 quotes her as saying.) Also, the minimum length is 200 words. That's not an essay. That's like a medium-length poem. This post that you're reading right now is 251 words. Somebody give us a house.
· Get a 4,000-square-foot Indiana home for $199… and an essay [Fox59]