Up Front: UNREAL ESTATE
DON'T BET THE HOUSE? SAYS WHO?
Only in Hollywood could someone turn real estate into a game show. Entertainment lawyer Scott Roth, after a dismal year in Southern California's lousy housing market without offers for his $450,000, three-bedroom house, is staging a contest with the Hollywood Hills home as top prize. For a $75 entry fee, contestants need to answer 25 offbeat questions--some as simple as how long was the ocean tour in Gilligan's Island supposed to be. If there's a tie, he will hold runoff quizzes among top finishers. "I call it Jeopardy! with an attitude," he says.
He might also call it a money-maker: Roth says he'll end the contest by June 30 or after 12,500 entries. That would be enough to generate $937,500, which would pay off his $300,000 mortgage and move his family into another house. If he gets fewer than the 12,500, Roth says he'll give 75% of the take to the winner or return the bucks. Roth, who started the contest just before the earthquake, has 1,000 entries so far.Ronald Grover