You Could Own This Historic English Mansion for Less Than $20

Courtesy of James Congdon
Courtesy of James Congdon

Have you always wanted to live in a sprawling English estate? This could be your lucky day.

The owners of Dancers Hill House have launched a contest to win this luxury mansion, which was built circa 1760 and has four acres of grounds including a lake stocked with fish. There's an entry fee of £13.50 (less than $17), but considering the property is worth close to $7 million, it's a pretty good deal. You can also enter more than once if you want to up your odds.

It gets better: According to a press release, the North London house was the "backdrop" of Masterpiece's 1999 adaptation of Charles Dickens's Great Expectations, which starred Ioan Gruffudd, Charlotte Rampling, and Justine Waddell.

Dancers Hill House
Courtesy of James Congdon

The estate has a rich history. Around 1500, the land originally housed a manor that Elizabeth I is rumored to have stayed in. The current structure was built around 1760 as a folly: a grand decorative structure that rich people in the 18th century liked to build on their land just for fun. It was eventually extended several times and transformed into a habitable home in the 19th century. During WWII, it was used as a camp for Italian prisoners of war.

The secluded, 7500-square-foot mansion has since been renovated to include six bedrooms and six bathrooms, along with amenities like a movie theater, gym, wine room, and a conservatory. It's been a family home for the last 30 years, but after watching their kids grow up and leave the nest, the owners are ready to move on. It's the perfect abode for anyone with a brooding Dickensian soul.

You have until December 16, 2018 to enter. And if you win, you owe it to yourself—and Dickens—to rename it Satis House.

New Harry Potter Scrabble Accepts Wizarding Words Like Hogwarts and Dobby

USAopoly
USAopoly

Patronus, Hogwarts, and Dobby may not be words found in the official Scrabble dictionary, but they are very real to Harry Potter fans. Now there's finally a board game that lets players win points using the magical vocabulary made famous by the Harry Potter books and movies. SCRABBLE: World of Harry Potter from USAopoly is a new edition of Scrabble that recognizes characters, place names, spells, and potions from J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World.

Like traditional Scrabble, players use the letter tiles they pick up to spell out words on the board, with different words earning different point values. Any word you can find in an up-to-date Merriam-Webster Dictionary is still fair game, but in this version, terms coined in Harry Potter qualify as well. First and last names, whether they belong to characters (Albus or Dumbledore, for example) or actors from the franchise (Emma or Watson), are playable. You can also spell magical place names (like Hogsmeade), spells (accio), and objects (snitch).

Harry Potter version of Scrabble.
USAopoly

Showing off the depth of your Harry Potter knowledge isn't the only reason to put wizarding words on the board. Magical words are worth bonus points, with players earning more points the longer the word is. SCRABBLE: World of Harry Potter also includes cards with special challenges for players—a feature that can't be found in any other version of the game.

This Harry Potter edition of Scrabble will be available for $30 at Barnes & Noble and other retailers this spring. Until then, there are plenty of Harry Potter-themed games, including wizarding chess, out there for you to play.

Harry Potter version of Scrabble.
USAopoly

This 1980s Copy of Super Mario Bros. Is One of the Most Expensive Video Games in History

iStock.com/ilbusca
iStock.com/ilbusca

The original Super Mario Bros. changed video games forever when Nintendo released it for the NES in the 1980s, and now it's making history again. As The Verge reports, a mint cartridge from 1985 just sold for $100,150, breaking a world record in video game sales.

Super Mario Bros. was the first game starring Mario that Nintendo released for a home console. Most old copies of the game from the 1980s show noticeable wear, but the item that just sold through Heritage Auctions was a rare find for collectors. The cartridge is still preserved in its sealed case, earning it a "near mint" grade of 9.4 and a A++ "seal rating" from the rare game certifiers Wata Games.

It's also a rare "sticker-sealed" copy that Nintendo created for an exclusive test market launch of the NES in New York and Los Angeles. That, along with the game's pristine condition, helped make it the most expensive graded game ever sold when a group of collectors purchased it for $100,150 at auction.

Super Mario Bros. helped launch a video game franchise and paved the way for some of Nintendo's most famous properties, including Mario Cart and Super Smash Bros. It's one of several old-school NES games that collectors are willing to shell out big bucks for. Stadium Events, the 1990 Nintendo World Championships (one sold in 2014 for $100,088), and the Nintendo Campus Challenge are also very rare and expensive.

[h/t The Verge]

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