The lucky winner Saturday in an unusual charity raffle will not be able to take the grand prize home.
The grand prize is a home.
After eight weeks of promotions and tours and celebrities signingautographs at the home site in Odenton, Saturday morning will be theday thousands of ticket buyers have been waiting for.
An official-- the person hasn't been chosen -- will reach into a hat or a barrel and pick a name from among at least 250,000 entries. At stake is a $200,000 house in the Seven Oaks development across from Fort Meade.
Proceeds from the raffle will go to Action for the Homeless, an organization that works to take people living on the street and give them a home.
Two months ago, organizers said they hoped to raise $250,000 selling tickets at $10 each. They say they think they've reached that goal and may have surpassed it, although they're still counting the tickets.
"I am very pleased," said Cathy Lyness, contest coordinator for Action for the Homeless. "A lot of fund-raisers are having a terrible time. Take a look at the economy. I think we have been most fortunate."
People will be able to buy tickets Saturday morning before the
drawing. The three-bedroom, 2 1/2-bath house will beopen for tours from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. tomorrow.
On Saturday, two sets of drawings will take place at the house, in the 1900 block of Brigade Way. The house is located toward the back of Seven Oaks, a 4,700-home development at the corner of routes 32 and 175.
In the first drawing, scheduled for 10 a.m., 10 names will be drawn from among those present, and each person will be given a key. One key will openthe front door to the home. That winner will receive a gift, left onthe living room floor.
Lyness said organizers aren't sure what the gift will be, but it probably will be cash. The other nine winners will receive a grab-bag of gifts.
At 11 a.m., the house will be raffled off. People who bought tickets do not have to be present on Saturday to win. County Executive Robert R. Neall and Gov. William Donald Schaefer are among the dignitaries scheduled to attend.
Organizers had invited First Lady Barbara Bush, but it appears she will be unable to attend.
Lyness said she has not heard anything from the president's staff about coordinating security measures or setting up a schedule.
A White House aide said Barbara Bush's schedule isn't announced until 24 hours ahead of time. But he said the event does not appear on Bush's lists.