West Wittering beach home raffle: Over £18k raised for charity as deadline approaches
With two days left before the deadline, the organisers of a West Wittering beach home raffle have said the winner will likely have to settle for the cash prize alternative to due to a lack of ticket sales.
Jan and Alina Michaelis decided to raffle their £475,000 West Wittering home to raise £50,000 for two charities – Surfers Against Sewage and Brain Tumour Research.
However, the pair say they have only sold just over 30 per cent of the 240,000 tickets required to award the house and that, despite all efforts, they are doubtful they will reach the target to offer the house as the prize.
The couple are continuing to encourage people to purchase tickets and be in with a chance to win a substantial amount of cash, and help raise vital funds for the two charities at the same time.
The guaranteed cash prize currently sits at just over £86,000, which is 75 per cent of proceeds, less the donations raised for charity and with expenses already deducted.
Jan said: “It is a life changing amount of money. Although we are disappointed that we have not reached the target to award the house, we’re excited to potentially change someone’s life with a huge sum of money offered – while also donating a fair amount of money to charity.
“The odds of winning the cash prize are extremely good. If you hold just ten raffle tickets, for example, your chances of winning are better than one in 7,400.
The raffle has so far raised over £18,000 for Surfers Against Sewage and Brain Tumour Research.
Director of fundraising for Surfers Against Sewage, Pete Lewis, said: “We are delighted that Jan and Alina have been able to support our work protecting the UK’s oceans, waves and beaches with the initial donation of £5,000 and this further donation of an additional £3,500.”
The couple decided to raffle off their house after entering similar competitions in the past and enjoying the buzz of potentially winning the life-changing prize.
Jan said: “We had outgrown our wonderful family home and with a lot of people desperately trying to get onto the property ladder or relocate to the coast, we decided to offer somebody the prize of a lifetime and raise money for two charities close to our hearts at the same time.
“There’s a tremendous amount of work and cost involved with organising and running a house raffle. It has been endless hours of evening and weekend work for both of us. The amount of work that takes place behind the scenes is astonishing.
“From the initial research, to setting up a viable website that can handle high peaks of traffic, to finding business partners such as a payment processor that is willing to collaborate with a house raffle. Not to mention the administration, customer service, social media posting and handling; website maintenance, copy writing, email handling; liaising with solicitors and charities to ensure everything is above board, running marketing campaigns and press handling.
“The competition has been a tremendous juggling act for both of us during the last 16 months.”
Alina said there is more than just the organisational demands that come with operating a house raffle to consider.
She said: “The stress and emotional cost for organising a raffle like this is extremely high. We received unexpected hate on social media with people accusing us of running a scam. When you are working so hard it can be incredibly upsetting to receive such hurtful comments. With the number of scams around, naturally people have a lot of questions and concerns, and we have always been happy to answer any questions that people had. Throughout the entire competition we have always done our best to be open and transparent. Nevertheless, we were consistently shocked and saddened by some of the nasty emails and trolling comments we received on social media.”
Despite the lows Jan says the couple have received many heart-breaking stories that have been full of hope, with people sharing how winning the raffle would change their lives forever.
Jan said: “We’ve had people thanking us for going the extra mile and trying to raise money for charity while giving someone this life changing opportunity. We cannot wait to announce the lucky winner and hear their reaction to having won such a life changing amount of money. It feels incredibly worthwhile and rewarding to put time and effort into something that brings joy to people while also raising vital funds for charity. Handing over the first £5,000 donation to each of the charities last year was a great boost and made us think that we could raise a substantial amount for each charity.”
With the cash prize and charitable donation increasing with every ticket sold, the couple are encouraging people to purchase some final tickets before the competition ends at 11.59pm on June 30.
The winner, final charitable donation figure as well as the final cash prize will be announced during a live social media stream on July 12.
To purchase tickets for just £2.50 and be in with a chance of winning at least £86,000 visit www.winmybeachhome.co.uk