Couple’s plan to raffle off £500,000 home thwarted by gambling rules
A retired couple who offered the chance to win their £500,000 four-bedroom home and swimming pool with a £10 raffle ticket have had to close the competition with “sincere regret and upset”.
Robert and Avril Smith announced last year that they were hoping to sell 60,000 of the £10 tickets giving the public a chance to win their home in Grosmont, North Yorkshire.
The winner was due to be drawn on Thursday, but Mr and Mrs Smith said they are “back to square one” after being told by the Gambling Commission that it was not a legal prize competition.
In a post on the website set up by the couple to administer the competition, they said: “It is with sincere regret and upset that this competition has to close.
“The Gambling Commission has deemed the competition a potential lottery and not a legal prize competition.
“We understand the disappointment to you all and can only apologise sincerely as well as offer a full refund.”
Last year, Mr and Mrs Smith said the home has an outdoor heated pool, log cabin, orangery and hot tub, but they wanted to move closer to their son in Harrogate.
They also hoped to raise up to £60,000 for Cancer Research UK through the sale.
Mrs Smith battled cancer 10 years ago and the couple also lost their daughter three years ago.
Her husband said on the website: “As you will have seen, my wife and I have been through a lot over the last three years and it was hoped that this would give us the break we need. Unfortunately, we are back to square one.”
The couple said the decision by the commission was contrary to the legal advice they had been given.
They said the house is open to offers in the normal way and ticket refunds can be claimed through the website.