For naught but $125 and 200 words, you could be the next owner of Center Lovell Inn and Restaurant. That's roughly a word per year the 1805 property has existed. Got $250 and 400 words in you? Submit two entries to the competition and increase your chances—there's no official limit on individual submissions.
If this sounds crazy, keep in mind there's a precedent for it. Current owner Janice Sage won just such a contest in 1993, chosen by a panel of judges to take over the historic property from previous owners Bil and Susie Mosca. If you're looking for inspiration, the Moscas allowed Yankee Magazine to publish Sage's winning entry that same year. If this doesn't sound crazy, perhaps you've seen the 1996 movie The Spitfire Grill. It's not officially based on real events, but key elements of its plot and its rural Maine setting are laughably similar to reality.
Then, as now, the contest received international attention. From Eater sister site Curbed National to the Times of Malta, from the UK's Daily Mail to the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, the official "Center Lovell Inn & Restaurant Essay Contest" Facebook page is tracking the incessant worldwide buzz stirred up by the egalitarian saga. At this rate, Sage will blow past 7,500 entries, a goal which would net her just over the estimated $900,000 value of the property and facilitate a comfy retirement.
Think you've got what it takes? A winner will be chosen on or before May 21, 2015, so log out of Facebook, check the official rules, and start jotting down why you deserve to inherit a thriving historic inn and restaurant—and do it in fewer words than this post.