Win-a-home raffle fails to be big draw

A COMPETITION to win a cottage in a raffle has been closed after too few people entered. Tickets to win a Grade II listed, Victorian cottage in Hemingford Grey were being sold for £25 each. However, because fewer than 15,000 tickets were sold, the owners

A COMPETITION to win a cottage in a raffle has been closed after too few people entered.

Tickets to win a Grade II listed, Victorian cottage in Hemingford Grey were being sold for £25 each. However, because fewer than 15,000 tickets were sold, the owners have kept the cottage.

The project was launched in June on a website called winmycottage.com. If enough tickets had been sold, the winner could have gained the house for roughly what it cost to buy in 1840 when it was built. In June, it was valued at £185,000 with a monthly rent of £650 if the new owner wanted to let it out.

The Nutshell, a two-bedroom home in Church Street, was being sold by a couple who did not wish to be named and who said they wanted someone to have a 'life-changing' win.

Entrants could buy as many tickets as they wished and though there was no longer going to be anyone who actually won the cottage, the tickets were drawn on December 23 by the Vicar of Hemingford, the Reverend Peter Cunliffe.

As agreed when the competition was set out, the reserve price not having been reached, two of the entrants received cash prizes and a donation was also made to the St James Church Parish Centre for its chosen Christmas charity, The Christian Blind Mission, which works with blind and disabled people in the third world.

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The owner of the cottage, who said she wanted to start a new life in Spain, told The Hunts Post, when the contest was launched: "I was told by so many people that it was a unique property that I wanted to sell it in a unique way. A friend of mine saw that a house had been raffled in New York in a system they have over there called a house raffle.

"This means that owning the home is open to anyone. We like the idea that this makes the home available to someone who would not otherwise be able to get on to the property ladder."

The raffle tickets were sold on-line. According to British law, the contest had to be run by solicitors and auditors and there had to be an element of skill - and therefore a question. The website asked people to say who was on the throne in Victorian England.

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