Page last updated at 09:53 GMT, Tuesday, 26 August 2008 10:53 UK

Devon estate for sale in raffle

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Couple raffling 1m house

A couple from Devon are hoping to beat the property slump by raffling off their home.

Brian and Wendy Wilshaw are selling the tickets for 25, but the winner could become the new owner of a 1m estate.

The 11-acre estate at Morchard Bishop, near Crediton, includes a five-bedroom house, fishing lake and four two-bedroom holiday cottages.

The couple said it was a way to beat the credit crunch and give somebody the "chance of a lifetime".

The couple put their home on the market last year.

Can you just imagine what a Christmas present somebody's going to get
Brian Wilshaw

"We were having difficulties trying to sell it towards the end of last year," Mr Wilshaw told BBC News.

"Although there was some interest, it seemed to be very weak and we realised the housing market was grinding to a halt."

The 64-year-old heating engineer and his 49-year-old wife bought the property in 1994 and ran it as a small holiday park until 2006.

"People who'd stayed with us when it was a holiday park used to say if they had the money they'd buy it from us and that's really what gave us the first idea," Mr Wilshaw said.

Stamp duty

The couple contacted a solicitor to check out the legalities of the raffle.

The raffle has to be run as a competition, with prospective ticket purchasers having to answer a question which has an element of skill.

"The question has to be one that not more than about 10-20% of the population could answer," Mr Wilshaw said.

The house was built in the 1980s and has five double bedrooms, two of which are en-suite.

Oldborough Estate holiday lodge: Pic Brian Wilshaw
The estate has four two-bedroom holiday lodges and a fishing lake

The couple hope to sell 46,000 tickets. This will cover the estate's asking price, stamp duty and the running costs of the competition.

"We'll also be making a contribution towards the winner's legal costs.

"We want to retire this year and we love the thought of being able to give ordinary people the chance of living here.

"Absolutely anybody could win it and we can't wait to see their faces when we put the keys in their hands."

The cut off date for the competition is 7 December, but this could be brought forward if the 46,000 tickets sell quickly.

"We're not going to be greedy about it, so once the tickets are sold that will be that.

"Can you just imagine what a Christmas present somebody's going to get?"

If the couple fail to sell enough tickets to cover the asking price of the estate, a raffle will still be held and the winning ticket holder will receive a cash prize.

However, the promoters said under the conditions of the raffle they would be entitled to retain 35% of the entry fees to cover administration and marketing expenditure.

The remaining balance would be the prize fund, which would then be given to the cash prize winner.


SEE ALSO
Two arrests over cancelled raffle
20 Dec 06 |  North East Wales
Estate agent raffles off her home
29 Mar 06 |  North East Wales
Pair raffle home for 25 a ticket
03 Jun 05 |  Cambridgeshire

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