RISMEDIA, September 3, 2009—Meg and Whip Jones have it all- a home with bay views, an upscale gift shop and a Maserati Quattroporte. And they want to give it all up, they say.
Instead of going the traditional route of selling off their assets, the couple have created a contest, My Beach Fantasy, with the grand prize being their home, their business and their car. The second-place prize is $100,000; third-place winner takes home $50,000.
A $1,000 entry fee and 200-word essay are all that separates one lucky entrant from living the grand life on Florida’s Gulf Coast, home to gorgeous white-sand beaches. Essays will be judged on originality, creativity and sincerity (60%), persuasiveness and flow (30%), and correct grammar (10%). The contest will end September 6, 2010 or once 10,000 entries have been received, whichever occurs first.
“We have a lot of fond memories here,” said contest sponsor Whip Jones. “We raised our children here, and put our hearts and souls into our business. We didn’t feel right just selling it all off to the highest bidder. That’s when we came up with the contest idea. We want our legacy to continue in the hands of someone who has the same ideals and values that we do.”
Jones sees the contest as a win-win situation. The couple will recoup money invested by requiring a minimum of 3,000 entries to award the prizes at all three levels. Individuals who would not, under traditional circumstances, be able to make an offer on the home and/or business can do so for a reasonable fee.
“We’ve already lived our own beach fantasy,” said Jones. “And now we want to give someone else the opportunity to fulfill their own dream.”