Indiana couple asking for essay in exchange for home

COLUMBUS, Ind. (WISH) — What if you were told you could own a 6,200-square-foot home on almost 5 acres of property, complete with an indoor pool?

That dream could be a reality — not if the price is right, but if the essay is right.

Tim and Deanna Railing are giving away their custom-built log cabin in Columbus to one lucky contestant.

The contest costs $150 to enter. They’re asking people to write a 250 word or less essay on “A Life Well Lived.”

The deadline is Nov. 16, 2015. The couple will only give the house away to a winner if they receive a minimum of 4,500 entries. If they don’t reach 4,500 entries, the $150 fee will be refunded.

A panel of anonymous judges, not including the couple selling the home, will choose the essay winner.

“We decided we didn’t want any part of the judging for this essay. We want to be impartial. We might read some of them because they’re going to be fun to read,” said Deanna Railing.

“The theme of the contest is ‘A Life Well Lived.’ We chose that theme in particular because it would not limit the scope of the winner. It would actually open it up. The person can be any story, and we’re hoping it will be a positive story,” said Tim Railing.

The Railings said they saw the idea on the news when someone in Maine did something similar.

Deanna said, “To me, he (Tim) is the epitome of a life well lived, and I thought I want to hear more people’s stories like that.”

The house is located west of downtown Columbus, between Columbus and Nashville.

Click here for more details.

With the $150 entree fee and requirement for 4,500 entries, the couple would make at least $675,000 — the list value of the home — in entree fees before giving the home to the contest winner.

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