For 29 seasons and 626 episodes and counting, people the world over have watched The Simpsons rush home to 742 Evergreen Terrace and the family sofa.
But have you ever wondered what a real-life version of that instantly familiar house might look like?
Barbara Howard hasn’t. In 1997, she won possibly the strangest Simpsons contest ever created.
Organised by broadcasters Fox and soft drink giant Pepsi, the “The Simpsons House Give Away” offers fans the chance to pick up the keys to their very own Simpsons property or, alternatively, take home a cash prize of $75,000 (£55,673).
Located at 712 Red Bark Lane in Henderson, Nevada, the house was a near-perfect recreation of the Simpson place, with particular attention paid to the property’s front room and Bart’s bedroom.
Put together by Kaufman and Broad homebuilders who watched more than 100 episodes of the show to recreate every detail right down to the Duff beer cans, the 2200-square-foot four-bedroom reconstruction came complete with Bart’s treehouse, the family barbecue and a swing set.
All told, there were around 1,500 props scattered across the property when Barbara was announced as the competition’s winner – which made what she did next kind of awkward.
With her husband owning and operating a 260-acre farm in Henderson, Nevada, Barbara was forced to take the money and run, rather than up sticks and move her entire family to a crazy cartoon house.
“Honey, I’d give my eyeteeth to pick up and move there, but my family being in the shape it’s in, I can’t,” Howard told the Los Angeles Times back in January 1998.
“What I’d really like,” she added, “is to have Kaufman & Broad build me the house just like it is with everything in it, right here…”
That didn’t end up happening though. The Simpsons house was eventually stripped beyond any recognition and sold to someone else as a plain, old, ordinary house in 2001.
It now looks like this:
And the world is a lot duller for it.
Could anyone have ever been able to live in a fake cartoon Simpsons house? Possibly not, but it’s still fascinating to look back on.
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Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.