Steamboat Springs The essay contest to win a home in Steamboat Springs has been extended.
Monday was the original deadline for contestants to send in their essays on why they deserve to win a home in Steamboat. It's been extended to Dec. 30.
"We didn't have enough entries yet, and we had people asking for more time," said Mike O'Carroll, owner of the home.
"We had one guy who said he wrote 40 or 50 drafts before he sent it in. We realized it wasn't enough time."
In the meantime, the Web site with information on the contest has gotten about 14,000 hits from all over the world.
"We got hits from Australia, France, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Austria, Japan," said Ryan McAnally, whose company created the Web site.
People have also flooded the Web site with questions about taxes and the length of the essay.
"The biggest question we had is the tax issue, and really we've just been telling them to consult their personal accountant," McAnally said.
Depending on the winner's income, local accountants have said taxes on the home could run about 35 percent.
The O'Carrolls want to receive 2,200 entries, which would make their take about $440,000. A 30 percent tax on the house would be about $154,000 in taxes.
O'Carroll also said lots of people have been asking if the 100-word or less requirement is set in stone.
"Everyone's concerned that if they go over 100 words they'll be disqualified," McAnally said. "That's not really the criteria we just don't want five- or six-page essays."
However, originality and creativity are required, and the O'Carrolls say they are getting it.
"We have a lot of really interesting entries. I wish we had more places to give away."
Not wanting to let the cat out of the bag, the O'Carrolls would only say they've had everything from poems to songs, even an entry by a jail inmate.
"If you can think of it, we have it," O'Carroll said.
The O'Carrolls are reading the essays as they come in but assure contestants an independent panel of clergy and teachers will judge the essays without knowing who wrote them.
The home, the second half of a duplex, is 3,100 square feet with four bedrooms and is about a mile from the ski mountain on Bear Drive.
Most of the entries so far have come from the Front Range, and very few from Steamboat.
"For a long time, we didn't have any entries from Steamboat. We finally got some," O'Carroll said.
McAnally said some people actually asked for their entries back after they read about a Detroit man who wanted to write about using the house for cancer victims.
"We told them the contest isn't based on need, it's based on creativity. That guy hadn't even sent in an entry," McAnally said.
To reach Frances Hohl call 871-4208 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
The deadline to submit essay entries to win the O'Carrolls' half-duplex on Bear Drive has been extended until Dec. 30. For information on the contest, go to www.steamboathome...
, or send entries to: Steamboat Home Contest, PMB 178 1625 Midvalley Drive #1 Steamboat Springs, CO 80487 Include your name, city, state, zip code and phone number