After an injury, Alla Wagner of Millarville recently came up with an idea that could allow her to downsize to a smaller, accessible space. As part of the ìWrite a Letter, Win a Houseî competition, Wagner is asking entrants to compose an explanation, up to 350 words, to explain why they should win the contest and why they would be happy to live there.
An Alberta woman running a contest to give away her $1.7-million Millarville home says she needs a miracle for the competition to be a success with a hard deadline just a week away.Alla Wagner said she has fewer than 20,000 entries of the roughly 60,000 she needs to cover the asking price of her home — a mighty $1.5-million estate, dropped slightly from her previous price, that’s a 4,200 square feet, two-storey residence south of Calgary.“It’s a dream for me to keep this alive,” said Wagner. “This is so important. I’m doing it for these people, not for myself. My business has suffered because I haven’t given enough time to it, my health has suffered, my family sees me by appointment. It’s just been a nightmare.”She has been compiling thousands of entries, which must include the $25 fee and a letter, in no more than 350 words, detailing how the lakefront property would change a person’s life. Yet, setbacks over the past year have put her competition behind schedule.Despite the odds stacked against her, Wagner still hopes for an influx of letters by July 5.“Imagine that beauty of what’s going to happen. For Canada, for us, for some good news to be out there. Everywhere you turn there is depressing, bad news but this would be a good news story,” she said.“It would mean that somebody’s dreams would come true.”
After trying to sell her Millarville, Alta., home, Alla Wagner is now offering the house as the prize in a letter writing contest.
Wagner has faced significant hurdles after the launching the contest, named Write a Letter, Win a House, at the beginning of the year. She has had to battle fake accounts, curb scammers and undergo an Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission investigation that ultimately conduced the house competition was legal — not to mention, the task of combing through every piece of mail and electronic application to ensure they included the admission fee and letter.She has also extended the deadline a handful of times but July 5 will be the last.While the southwestern Alberta hamlet resident is upfront about the challenges of hosting such a strenuous competition, she is steadfast on seeing it through until the end.“I just don’t give up,” said Wagner, remaining optimistic. “Every letter that I read, every letter that touched my heart, I thought I have to take this all the way. This has to happen. This has to work.”She said while similar competitions have popped up, including a contest to win a Mount Royal mansion in Calgary and a two-storey home in Ottawa, they are missing the point — to change someone’s life.“I am only doing it for one reason. I need to change my life because I’m hurting, because of what happened a year ago today, and I want to give somebody hope,” said Wagner.She suffered a fall resulting in a severe back injury in 2018. In addition to the injury, Wagner battles chronic illnesses and has been confined to the upstairs level of her home since last June.Wagner wants to focus on her health when the competition ends and whether or not the home gets new life through the contest or as a listed sale, she’s ready to move on.“I want to be free,” she said. “I want to be able to get up in the morning, go to the kitchen and make myself coffee instead of the little coffee station I’ve created in my bedroom. I want that freedom of being able to open the door, and even if I’m still in a wheelchair, be able to roll out.”If the completion fails, she will refund all of the applicants and try to sell the house on the market, something her realtors have been working on in addition to helping with the contest.“People are also asking me would I do it again? I would because you have no idea how many beautiful people I have met,” she said.Submissions will be accepted until July 5 through the website at www.writealetterwinahome.ca