Steamboat Springs As Dec. 30 closes in, a Steamboat Springs couple is pondering whether to extend a deadline a second time for an essay contest that will give away their home.
In October, Mike and Mara O'Carroll extended the deadline to the end of December so more people could enter the contest to win the couple's home at 1850 Bear Drive.
"Right now, we just don't have enough entries to do the contest," Mike O'Carroll said Thursday morning. "We are debating now whether to extend the deadline."
The O'Carrolls are targeting 2,200 entries to make it worth their while. People interested in the contest are to submit a $200 entry fee along with an essay that is 100 words or less.
O'Carroll would not divulge how many essays the couple has received, but so far the couple has received a lot of interesting entries.
"We are getting a wide variety of letters," he said. "We are getting sob stories to poems and some that are very touching. The originality of some of these essays are incredible."
So far, the couple has received entries from a jail inmate to a man in Detroit who would use the house for a home for cancer patients, he said.
To promote the contest, a Web site has been setup that has received thousands of hits from across state, the country and even as far off as Australia, France, the United Kingdom, Switzerland and Japan.
The question on most people's minds who are interested in the contest is the tax issue. People interested in submitting an essay should consult their personal accountant to find out that answer.
Depending on the winner's income, local accountants have estimated taxes on the home or lottery could be about 35 percent. By receiving 2,200 entries the house would be worth $440,000. A 30 percent tax would be about $154,000 in taxes.
If enough letters are submitted, they will be judged by an independent panel consisting of clergy and teachers. The panel will not know who wrote the letter.
Weighing heavily on the couple's decision on whether to extend the Dec. 30 deadline is the ski season.
"We might extend the deadline through ski season to get enough entries in," O'Carroll said. "If we think we can get enough, we will extend it. If we don't, then we will stop the contest.
"We will be making the decision on whether to extend the deadline by sometime (this) week."
To reach Gary E. Salazar call 871-4205 or e-mail @amigo.net