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Tax is a game of cat and mouse. The Tories hiked up stamp duty on high value homes. So sales ground to a halt. But some folk do have to sell. How can they do this and not face a big loss?
The answer seems to be to try and raffle the home off. It can be a win-win. The owner can end up with more money than they hoped for. And the lucky winner gets the home for £25 or whatever the ticket cost.
You know what’s coming don’t you? Yes of course there are laws against this sort of thing. If you are not careful you can wind up in jug for running an illegal lottery.
How can you get round this? You are on the right side of the law if you ask quiz questions or set puzzles that need a lot of skill for the winner to solve. Now this got me thinking.
Could this be a way to make sure homes go to the brightest and best not just those with rich parents? Can we get back on the road to a meritocracy?
How could it work? You could set up an app. It would show the homes, collect the ticket money and generate the quiz questions.
So long as the raffle tickets and other income were higher than the expected value of the homes you are in clover. There will be profits to share out.
Now let’s think big! Everyone likes a quiz. It’s the one thing that is keeping a lot of pubs open. And who wouldn’t want to win a house? Maybe we should put a call into Simon Cowell.
What could he do with it I wonder? With regional quiz heats, TV play-offs and text votes to keep people in it would be a money-spinner.
Who could front it? It’s got to be Ant and Dec as they already dress like estate agents.
What could we do with the cash? Andy Burnham sets a good example by giving up a bit of his pay for the homeless. You could do the same with some of the profits from this.
OK this isn’t going to solve the housing crisis. But it is a much fairer way of selling homes. At least the lucky winners have done something to earn their success instead of just being born into the right family.
Maybe these days we have as much to learn from William Hill as Octavia Hill.