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Alberta Homeowner Giving Away Her $1.7 Million Millarville House In Essay Contest

Michelle Butterfield
For a $25 entry fee and an essay, this home could be yours.

For $25 and a well-worded pitch, this $1.7-million Southern Alberta home could be yours.

Yes, you read that correctly. Alla Wagner is hoping to unload her 5,000 sq.-ft. Millarville estate, and is running a unique contest to settle on the most deserving candidate.

The rural home features a walk-out basement and views of the Canadian Rockies.

According to the Write a Letter, Win a House Facebook page, Wagner is moving because health issues stemming from a recent fall have kept her confined to one floor of the home, and prevent her from enjoying the custom-built property.

"It is taking a toll on my work and life in too many ways," she wrote.

The contest is inspired by Janice Sage's 2015 campaign, where she asked people for a $125 entry fee and 200-word essay on why they would like to own and operate her Center Lovell Inn in Maine.

Wagner, however, is asking for only a $25 entry fee, due to Alberta's sagging economy.

The house features a wine cellar with a hand-painted ceiling.

"This way it will not be difficult for very creative and truly deserving people to come up with the fee," the Facebook page says.

The three-level lakefront home, located just south of Calgary, was built in 2011 and overlooks the Canadian Rockies.

Take a tour of the full property. Story continues below:

Wagner's had no luck selling the property over the last five months and says she'll keep it on the market until the end of January. If it sells by conventional method by the end of the month, she'll refund all contestants their money. If not, they contest will forge ahead until they have 68,000 entries — the equivalent of $1.7 million.

And an entry letter doesn't necessarily have to be pen-to-paper. Contestants are free to come up with whatever format they choose. The only requirement is that they answer the question "why would moving to this lakefront dream home change your life?"


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"Just that one family that will end up in this house and make it into a home for themselves and be happy here, as happy as I have been, I know it's going to be a beautiful story in the end,'' Wagner told CTV Calgary.

Wagner also told CTV that she plans to donate five per cent of the net profit from the entries to the Calgary Women's Shelter.

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