Couple set to “raffle” their home – for just £5 a ticket

A young couple who struggled for ten months to sell their home are offering it as a raffle prize – for £5 a ticket.

Jack and Charlotte Smith had their two-bedroom flat on the market for almost a year and despite reducing the price twice, had no buyers.

The couple have now decided to offer their home in Greenwich, south east London, as a competition prize, and will also pay the winner’s stamp duty and legal fees.

The third-floor flat was built in 2008 and has a full length balcony, one bathroom and living space with kitchen and lounge.

Jack, 29, who works as an IT server specialist, said: “We’ve had the flat on the market with two agents for ten months, but we’ve had no interest.

“There are a lot of new builds at the moment which have first time buyers and government schemes, so we’ve decided that we’d take a risk and try a prize competition.

“We reduced the price two or three times – it was initially £490,000 but eventually went down to £465,000.

“We’ve done a lot of research, got legal advice, and done market research on the question you have to ask, because it has to be skilled to comply with the Gambling Commission’s regulations.

“I know there are a few other raffles out there making a lot of money for people, but we didn’t just want to do that, so we’re covering everything – the flat, stamp duty, legal fees and £50,000 for charity.

“We’ve teamed up with Eventbrite to take payment securely, give people tickets and keep the money until the competition has ended.

“We’re hoping that will help people trust us, because a lot of other competitions take bank transfers and this is more secure.”

Jack and Charlotte, a 27-year-old digital account manager, will donate to two charities close to their hearts.

A donation of £25,000 will be made to Thrombosis UK after Charlotte’s dad, Tony Pierce, died aged 56 from a pulmonary embolism which stemmed from deep vein thrombosis.

They will also donate to SUDC UK after a family friend’s toddler, Rex Gooden, died unexpectedly at just 22-months-old.

The couple are hoping to sell 130,000 tickets at £5, and have sold 2,000 in the first two weeks.

Jack added: “130,000 tickets is our maximum, but if we don’t spend all our marketing budget we can probably do it for a few thousand less.

“Sales are slow at the moment, but we’ve sold 2,000 in two weeks.

“Our friends think it’s an unusual idea, but considering how the market is at the moment, they think it’s a good one.

“We haven’t decided where to move to because don’t know when the raffle will end, so we’ve moved back in with our parents for now.

“We initially put January 26 as the deadline because we’re trying to set a shorter limit to get people to enter there and then.

“We would love to draw it before Christmas but that’s quite a push at the minute.”

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