Police: 'Win an Inn' essay contest didn't violate Maine law, it was game of skill, not chance

Associated Press

Maine State Police and the attorney general's office say an innkeeper didn't violate state law in an essay contest in which her 210-year-old country inn was the prize.

The investigation focused on whether the "Win an Inn" contest violated a law governing games of chance.

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Sgt. Michael Johnston said Tuesday it was a game of skill, not of chance. He says Maine has no laws overseeing essay contests.

Some contest losers felt the odds were stacked against them. The Center Lovell Contest Fair Practices Commission said inn owner Janice Sage marketed the contest as open to all regardless of background but awarded the prize to a couple with hospitality business experience.

Sage became owner of the inn the same way — by winning an essay contest 22 years ago.