A retiring Perigord couple who started a competition to sell their 450m2 house – worth over €1,5 million – had to suspend the contest after the authorities were alerted.

The owners of the estate, which includes a swimming pool, tennis court and stables, decided to organise a competition to sell the property, located in Cénac-et-Saint-Julien, 80km southeast of Périgueux (Dordogne).

Competitors had to pay a €13 registration fee, answer 2 general knowledge questions and estimate the value of 3 objects. Launched on 1 April, the competition garnered interest across the globe, with entrants hailing from France, Canada, Belgium, the UK, and Australia, Mrs Demassougne told AFP.

However, after a letter from the ARJEL (Regulatory authority for online games), the couple had to withdraw the competition. They now have 8 days to prove that it was not a “game of chance based on expertise, which would break a 2014 law.

Mrs Demassougne, pleading good faith, has assured all participants will be refunded.