A Calgary couple are the latest homeowners to offer up their multi-million dollar mansion for next to no money. A Calgary couple is giving away their house as a contest prize after an Ontario family announced a similar competition last week.

Teresa Rambold and Bill Wyrostok, who own the $3 million Mount Royal property, have joined the growing number of wealthy homeowners who are struggling to sell their luxurious mansions. They started to design their dream house in 2014, but have been unable to keep up with the rising costs of construction.

According to Global News, Wyrostok said, “it ended up costing us more than we anticipated, we have got to retire and there’s a time to take revenue out of real-estate.”

While the couple did attempt to sell their home the conventional way, the drop in interest in Calgary’s high-end properties meant that they would be unable to sell their house without accepting a substantial loss. Rambold recognized the need to be creative, saying “The numbers were just too big. We needed to do something different.”

The couple decided to create a contest, with two different entry options, with the hope of earning back the cost of their property through the contest fees. To determine the winner of the house, the contestants must do one of the following:

  • Pay a $35 entry fee and upload a photo of your pet.
  • Pay no fees, but include a 1000-word essay to accompany the pet photo, on the topic of “Living in your new dream home with your pet”. The couple states that the essay must be an original essay written in English.

According to their website, the entry photo must include the name of the pet, no wildlife, no graphic touch-ups, and must not include humans or ‘human parts’. It also states that the winning pet(s) must be shown in order to claim prize.

The couple has called the competition a ‘skill-based’ contest, rather than a random lottery or a raffle. “For every one thousand photos that are uploaded, a semi-finalist will be chosen,” Rambold said. “[The pictures] go to a nonprofit, unbiased board of directors that will decide [who wins] the house.”

Alongside the grand prize of the multi-million dollar mansion, the couple is also offering three runners up cash prizes of $50,000, and a charity donation of $100,000 to animal charities that are important to the couple.

“The MEOW Foundation and AARCS are amazing animal welfare charities, let’s support them,” Rambold said, speaking to Global News.

In order to successfully award all of the prizes, the couple will need to receive 105,000 paid contest entries by the end of October. If they are unable to achieve this amount, entries will be refunded, minus administrative costs.

Full details of the contest, as well as full terms and conditions for the contest, are available on their website.