- Warrington raffle winner wins six-bedroom stately home
- Sellers using gambling games as an alternative to realtors
The UK has been hit by a new craze as homeowners try get the most out the value of their property – home raffling.
Property owners put their home up as the prize in a raffle, with people invited to buy tickets – sometimes for as little as £1 ($1.25) – and potentially win.
The owner of the home makes their money through the ticket sales. One lucky UK winner is now the owner of a £845,000 ($1 million) six-bedroom manor home in Lancashire, having spent just £20 ($25) on tickets to the raffle draw.
Homeowners avoid repossession through raffle
The property won this week belonged to Dunstan Low and Natasha Dobosz, reports the Telegraph.
The couple were trying to sell the building due to mortgage debt, and were in danger of having the property repossessed, until Mr Low came up with the raffle idea. 500,000 tickets were made available, at £2 ($2.50) per ticket – giving the Lows a potential £1 million ($1.25 million) to cover their debts, legal costs and expenses.
To enter, players visited the contest website and answered a question set by Mr Low, and made the £2 payment. Players could also enter for free through the postal service, with the cost of postage covering the entry.
Not all tickets were sold, but the sellers made £998,518 from the raffle – enough to break even, according to Mr Low.
The winner, Marie Segar from Warrington, paid £20 for ten of the raffle tickets. “This is completely surreal,” a delighted Mrs Segar told reporters. “I’ve only ever won £9 on the lottery.” She is now the owner of Melling Manor in Lancashire’s Lune Valley – a beautiful period manor home which has been restored by the owners in recent years.
Gambling regulators get strict over home raffles
Home raffling is being used by a number of savvy British sellers who want to meet their selling costs, avoid the fees charged by estate agents, or sell a property that is struggling to meet its market price. They can also help an owner achieve a far higher price for their property than it would sell for in a traditional purchase. However, anyone who wants to sell their home in this way must adhere to the strict code of the UK Gambling Commission.
The Gambling Commission, noting the upsurge in interest in home raffling, has felt it necessary to send out a warning about the rules in place when putting a property up for a competition prize.
Like other forms of gambling, raffles must be fair and properly run, and they must be advertised and played responsibly according to the law.
The raffle will be subject to the same taxes and charges as other forms of gambling income, and the game must be restricted to players who are of the legal age to gamble. If the authorities feel that gaming rules have been breached by any home raffling opportunity, they can demand that the game is paused or even closed down.
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