House Giveaway Raffle Generates Questions of Legitimacy | News

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House Giveaway Raffle Generates Questions of Legitimacy

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A Jacksonville house that was being raffled off to the lucky winner who purchased a $30 ticket is no longer being raffled away. 

For Marie Vollers, it was a chance to move out of her Murray Hill apartment; she and her family bought five tickets,

"They bought tickets for me as a Christmas present and I bought two tickets," she said.

The tickets were purchased in 2010; the house on Champlain Road was being raffled June 2011. 

"I'm disappointed it wasn't raffled because I had hope of winning the house," she said.

The 2,500-square-foot home came fully furnished with no mortgage. Vollers went to the property in June when the drawing was scheduled.

"The man who was there said, 'I don't know anything about the raffle,'" she said.

In September she filed a complaint with the state consumer services division; her complaint produced a full refund, but left  questions unanswered.

"What about all the people who bought tickets, did they get their money back?" she asked.

According to its website, the net proceeds from the raffle would benefit the Ne-Se Group, a non-profit agency.

Property tax records show the house belongs to Niki Brunson, fund raising director for the Ne-Se group.

Beverly Clark is executive director; she said the raffle was fair and honest.

"Ticket sales did not live up to fundraising expectations, so we had to stop it so that the money can be refunded to all those who contributed," said Clark.

According to the contest rules, if fewer than 22,000 tickets were sold, the grand prize will not be given away.

"No prizes were given away, none, to my knowledge," said Clark.

Clark said her organization is now sending refund notices to those who bought tickets and anyone can contact the organization.

"It was a legitimate raffle; it didn't go over the way we thought it would," she said.










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