Owners of Catskills cabin tried to give away their home with a contest. It failed.

391 Woodstone Trail (credit: winlakefrontdreamhome.com)

The owners of a Catskills cabin that were planning on giving away their abode to the winner of a 200-word essay contest have ditched the giveaway and refunded entrants most of their money.

Fewer than 600 people entered the contest that came with a $149 entrance fee, reports the New York Times. The competition rules stipulated that for a winner to be chosen, 5,500 people would need to answer the question: “How would owning the lakefront dream home change your life?”

5,550 entrants would have netted the owners, Andrew Bares and Kelly Lavorgna, $819,500 for the two-bedroom cabin on 5.5 acres in Bethel, N.Y., about two hours north of the city.

Each entrant will reportedly receive a $100 refund by July 15, while Bares and Lavorgna will keep each a $49 administrative fee from each entry. According to the Times, they spent around $50,000 to set up and administer the contest

“I’m disappointed that it didn’t work out,” said Lavorgna to the Times. “You want somebody to be the winner.”

Last summer, an Australian couple held a raffle to unload their Micronesian island, but they had a little more success.

[New York Times]