Police: 'Win an Inn' essay contest didn't violate Maine law

AP News
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Posted: Jun 30, 2015 10:35 AM

CENTER LOVELL, Maine (AP) — A Maine innkeeper didn't violate state law in an essay contest in which her 210-year-old country inn was the prize, state police and the attorney general's office said Tuesday.

The investigation focused on whether the "Win an Inn" contest violated a law governing games of chance. Sgt. Michael Johnston said the contest was actually a game of skill.

Maine has no laws overseeing essay contests, Johnston said. He said his office received 15 complaints about the contest and notified complainants about the decision on Monday.

Some contest losers felt the odds were stacked against them. The Center Lovell Contest Fair Practices Commission said inn owner Janice Sage marketed the contest as open to all regardless of background, but awarded the prize to a couple with hospitality business experience.

Sage became owner of the inn the same way — by winning an essay contest 22 years ago. She did not immediately respond to a phone call on Tuesday.