No jackpot in Whistle Bend lottery

Only 26 of the single-family lots in the new Whistle Bend subdivision received bids in the territory's recent land lottery. Sixty-four of the 90 lots generated no interest at all.

Only 26 of the single-family lots in the new Whistle Bend subdivision received bids in the territory’s recent land lottery.

Sixty-four of the 90 lots generated no interest at all.

It may seem shocking to the uninitiated, but it’s pretty much what the government was expecting, said Ron Billingham, spokesperson for Energy, Mines and Resources, which held the lottery.

“We had a running guess in the office here,” he said. “I figured 20, someone figured 35, but generally speaking, when we have a large offering of lots we get about 25 or 30 or so each time.”

When the government released lots in Copper Ridge, it made several major offerings, said Billingham.

“I’m a little disappointed that people were saying that there’s not a very strong interest,” he said. “My point of view is that we’ve had typical interest, and good interest. Twenty-six is not something to shake a stick at.”

The duplex lots that were also on offer generated much more interest.

All seven of them were snapped up, with several applicants putting in multiple bids.

Nothing has actually been sold yet.

In order to take possession, the new owner has to put down 20 per cent of the cost of the lot and agree to build a house within the next two years.

“These people here have two weeks to seal the deal,” said Billingham.

After that, the government will decide what to do with the excess lots.

There are several options, said Billingham.

A second lottery could be held for the public, a builders’ lottery is another option, or the lots could simply be sold over the counter.

“This lottery has to come to its conclusion first before anything is done, and that’s at least a couple of weeks away and then the powers that be are going to decide how they’re going to do it,” he said.

In the meantime, the draw for the subdivision’s seven multifamily lots will be held Friday.

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