My mortgage company sponsored a contest this year in which participants could win either a month's mortgage payment or $250,000 toward a new home. All you had to do was write a 350 word essay on one of three topics: A) Why you want to become a homeowner, B) What obstacles did you overcome to becoming a homeowner or C) How homeownership has built your own personal wealth or security.
Limiting it to 350 words proved to be a lot harder than I thought. It's not easy to make your points, throw in a dash of humor and stay concise.
I've known about the contest since probably July, and just now got my entry in. Given the number they assigned my entry, it looks like maybe 84,000 people gave it a shot.
I have no idea how to gauge my entry. It didn't suck, but I'm not sure there was anything about it that would cause it to stand out. I chose the "overcoming obstacles" category. I really didn't have any significant obstacles to overcome, but I didn't fit into the other two categories.
The judges give out 80 free mortgage payment prizes a month, so I'm hoping I'll score one of those. I'm sure someone out there with cancer working three jobs and putting herself through school at the same time will get the grand prize. And I'm guessing she'd deserve it.