Instead, he received so much attention that it crashed his website — Google “Houston Home Essay Contest,” and more than 650,000 results appear.
He also said some people had falsified their stories to “pull at our heartstrings.”But the online attention did not add up to entries: Mr.
The Adamses admit they’d forgotten about the contest by that summer, when Rose answered the phone at Sweet Plantains, expecting to take a reservation. Rose and Prince quickly sold Sweet Plantains and moved to Lovell, bringing with them their affinity for the zip and zest of island life, expressed in both Rose’s cuisine and Prince’s extensive rum program.
“My mother is originally from Jamaica, and no native home in that country would ever be without at least one bottle of rum, most commonly Wray & Nephew White Overproof,” Prince says.
t’s not surprising that Center Lovell Inn, a beautifully restored 1805 Georgian-style farmhouse in rural western Maine, induces a Zen-like serenity in those who visit.
It’s almost impossible to harbor worries when you’re seated in the screened porch-turned-dining room, nursing a snifter of rum and gazing at the majestic White Mountains. Chef Rose Adams owns and operates the inn with her husband, Prince.The Center Lovell Inn, which borders the White Mountains of New Hampshire, was over two centuries old when Ms. To sell it, she did not enlist a real estate agent, or place an ad — not in any traditional sense.Instead, she sold the inn the same way the previous owner had: by holding an essay contest. Sage, who back then went by Jan Cox, made national headlines after she and her husband at the time paid a 0 entry fee and wrote an essay that made them the proud owners of the inn.Since then, the tale of the inn has almost become folklore, attracting dozens of property owners with similar ideas. Adams, a restaurant owner from the Virgin Islands, won the inn in June after paying 5 to enter the contest. Adams wrote of his experience in the hospitality industry, and compared the work to his marriage.Some want a more personal way to sell properties with sentimental value. And others hope a popular contest brings in more than they might make from a conventional sale. Karim Lakhani, an associate professor who studies online communities and contests at Harvard Business School, said social media and the Internet had made it easier for contests like these to reach a critical mass of people who are willing to pay a nominal fee for a chance.“This looks like a lottery,” meaning the risk is low and the reward high, Dr. “From the participation point of view, it’s ‘I can put in a few hundred bucks and get a chance to get a house.’ Who wouldn’t want to do that? “A successful marriage requires passion, hospitality and commitment,” he wrote.“Neither of us is a polished writer, so I was initially dismissive,” confesses Prince.“Rose convinced me to do it anyway.” Their 200-word essay about why they wanted to own the inn was one of 7,255 entries.Fifteen complaints were lodged with the Maine attorney general’s office, which led to an inquiry by the State Police. In an interview, he said he was still being harassed by people who thought that they should have won the inn or that he had broken the rules.“We’ve had disgruntled people calling in,” Mr. After The Boston Globe published his essay, one commenter accused him of breaking the rules by not writing a double-spaced piece. However, the majority of the essay entrants that contact us with well wishes are fantastic.”The saga has not appeared to deter others.The agency spent four weeks reviewing the rules, the selection process and complaints about the 1993 contest, which had prompted its own inquiry. Sage had run a game of skill, which is legal in the state, and not a game of luck like a lottery, which is not. It is difficult to say how many contests are being held at a given time, but Bil Mosca, the host of the 1993 contest for the inn, said he had fielded up to 12 phone calls a month from homeowners who wanted advice.Her menu is filled with the warm, inviting flavors of Caribbean, West African, Creole, and Indian cookery.Every Saturday, she carefully toasts and mills a blend of spices into a paste for the curry of the week — fiery pork vindaloo, maybe, or Jamaican-style curried goat. Virgin Islands, where they spent 12 years running a popular guesthouse and restaurant called Sweet Plantains.