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A retired couple trying to sell their property in an online raffle have been forced to remove the competition and refund entrants.

Robert and Avril Smith had set up a competition last year that offered their £500,000 four-bedroom home in the tiny Yorkshire village of Grosmont as a prize.

Entrants had to buy a ticket for £10 and answer a question to enter, while up to £60,000 was also set to be donated to Cancer Research.

Avril had cancer a decade ago and they lost a daughter to the condition as well. However, Robert told EYE that the Gambling Commission had deemed the competition question – What year did the North Yorkshire Railway open? – too easy.

He told EYE: “We had three answers to choose from.

“The Gambling Commission decided that this question was too easy to answer and required no skill or knowledge as the answer could be found on Google. v“To avoid prosecution and further legal fees we decided to close the competition.

“We had more than 5,000 entrants and about 6% had got the answer wrong.

“Perhaps if we had done spot the ball it may have been different. We did argue the case but they were extremely firm.”

The couple are now focusing on refunding entrants and have also said they are open to direct offers, but will not be using an estate agent for now.

In case readers are wondering, the answer to the competition question is 1836

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