“The raffle idea had come to her in a burst of inspiration, she said. But she is not the only homeowner to have turned to some version of this unorthodox approach in recent months. As the economy has worsened and the real estate market has continued to slump, a number of Americans have been using raffles and competitions — latter-day versions of the old rent party, only now with a profit motive for the guests — in a last-ditch effort to raise money and unload a house. And as mortgages have become harder to obtain, some would-be homeowners are being tempted by the chance — a small one, but with better odds than most lotteries — to own a house without dealing with a bank” (though the victors must pay taxes on their winnings). via NYTimes.com.