A unique approach to realty work by Austrian homeowner

The lottery concept has been put into service as a real estate tool by an original-thinking Austrian homeowner, reports Agence France Presse this week. Owner Traude Daniel was apparently finding the current economic crunch an obstacle to getting a fair price for her 400 square metre home on the banks of the swanky Woerthersee lake in southern Austria, so she advertised the place for just $195 - the price of an online lottery ticket with the home as the first prize.

The enterprising homeowner put the house up for sale via her own online lottery, for just Euros 99 [$195] per ticket....and attracted thousands of requests from all over the world. The Internet site had to close down registration prematurely over the weekend after some 16 000 people expressed interest in the house.

"We have to wait and see now how many people actually make a payment," owner Daniel said of the response this week.

A total 9 999 tickets are up for sale - effectively pricing the house at just under $1.9 million - and as soon as all tickets have been sold, the lottery will begin, she added.

If it appeared that fewer than 9 999 lots had been sold for the house and the 1408-square-metre piece of land near Klagenfurt, in southern Carinthia, registration may re-open, she said.

The sale, which was overseen by a notary handling the payments and potential reimbursements, is to run until May 5, 2009.

If all lots have not been sold by that date, the bidders will get their money back

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