Community Blog: The EDge

A second life for Nampa house raffle fundraiser?

The house raffle designed to raise money for the beleaguered Nampa School District could be a go after all.

But that’s not a sure bet.

In a brief letter to an attorney for Philip Allaire — the Middleton developer pursuing the raffle — the Idaho Lottery said the plan could proceed under “prescribed charitable gaming regulations.”

Kevin Dinius, Allaire’s attorney, wasn’t impressed. In a story in Saturday’s Idaho Press-Tribune, Dinius accused the Lottery of “bureaucratic action.” He said his client is considering several options, including a lawsuit against the state.

Last month, Allaire unveiled a plan to raffle off up to 40 Nampa homes in hopes of helping the district defray $4.3 million in shortfalls. His plan was to purchase and refurbish homes — starting with a 965-square-foot house in Nampa — sell 2,500 tickets at $100 apiece, and raffle off the house and donate the proceeds to the school district.

The Lottery found myriad legal problems with the raffle — including the online sale of tickets; the idea of selling tickets without a fixed raffle date; and the plan to reimburse Allaire’s nonprofit for the house purchase and repairs. On May 28, Allaire pulled the plug on the raffle, after selling fewer than 50 tickets.

Kevin Richert is a reporter and blogger at Idaho Education News (idahoednews.org). Kevin is a former Statesman editorial page editor, with 27 year's experience in Idaho journalism.

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