Raffle to win £500,000 Shropshire farmhouse to be drawn on Valentine's Day
The winner of a raffle to win a £500,000 Shropshire farmhouse will be drawn on Valentine's Day, its current owners have revealed.
Hundreds of thousands of tickets to win Shrubbery Farmhouse in Longnor have been bought online for £2 each, but technical problems meant no purchases could be made on the site throughout last week.
Because of this, homeowners Michael and Linda Chatha have extended the ticket sales deadline to February 10.
The couple, who are moving out of their family home of 17 years after splitting up, had warned they could not guarantee the house as the prize until they raised enough to cover its market value, plus the winner's stamp duty and legal fees. Instead, a consolidation prize of 90 per cent of the ticket sales would have been offered.
But the minimum target was reached within a matter of days after the raffle received international media coverage.
And it is likely the winner will be from our region, with the West Midlands representing 80 per cent of ticket sales so far.
Michael said: "Everything was gathering momentum and we were on target for a UK sales record for these kind of prize draws until, out of the blue last Saturday, our US-based payment processor suspended our account, despite us obtaining clear and specific written permission from them beforehand. We had been with them for years.
"This was a huge surprise, especially as we had received zero complaints from them, or concerns from trading standards, the Gambling Commission, local authority or anyone else for that matter, as we are doing everything by the book.
"We still haven’t had a response from them yet, and to be interrupted in this fashion after we had taken just over half a million pounds in a week was highly frustrating for everyone – including us."
The three-bedroom farmhouse, with a one-bed annexe, was valued in the summer of 2019 at between £520,000 and £545,000, but failed to sell after months on the market.
Any additional funds raised will be given to charity, with a "significant" donation already pledged to Hope House.
The winner will be drawn electronically at 12pm on February 14, with a solicitor and the media present.
Tickets can be bought online at winacountryhome.com until February 10, or until 500,000 tickets are sold.
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