£1.7m Georgian mansion up for prize in £25 raffle

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  • Donna Pirie, 54, hopes to raise £1m for charity by offering £1.7m home as a competition prize for £25 a ticket
  • The Georgian mansion in Aberdeenshire boasts a wine cellar, hot tub, six bedrooms, tennis court and a gym 
  • Price includes housekeeper, groundsmen, first year of utility bills, stamp duty and £2k towards solicitor's fees

By Amie Gordon For Mailonline

Published: 04:31 EDT, 11 October 2017 | Updated: 10:10 EDT, 11 October 2017

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A breathtaking £1.7 million six-bedroom Georgian mansion boasting a nine-hole golf course and helicopter landing pad is being offered as a competition prize.

Donna Pirie, 54, is hoping to raise £1 million for charity by offering a lucky winner her stunning home for just £25 a ticket - with the prize including a housekeeper, groundsmen, utility bills paid for a year, stamp duty and £2,000 towards solicitor's fees.

Johnston Lodge in Laurencekirk, Aberdeenshire boasts some 32 acres of grounds, four reception rooms, six en-suite bedrooms, two cloakrooms, tennis courts, a gym and a half-mile private drive with electric gates.  

Entrants for the draw simply need to complete a Christmas-themed crossword and pay £25. 

Situated at the foot of a half-mile long private drive with electric gates, Johnston Lodge in Laurencekirk, Aberdeenshire boasts some 32 acres of grounds, four reception rooms, six en-suite bedrooms, two cloakrooms, tennis courts, and a gym
Situated at the foot of a half-mile long private drive with electric gates, Johnston Lodge in Laurencekirk, Aberdeenshire boasts some 32 acres of grounds, four reception rooms, six en-suite bedrooms, two cloakrooms, tennis courts, and a gym

Situated at the foot of a half-mile long private drive with electric gates, Johnston Lodge in Laurencekirk, Aberdeenshire boasts some 32 acres of grounds, four reception rooms, six en-suite bedrooms, two cloakrooms, tennis courts, and a gym

The breathtaking £1.7 million six-bedroom Georgian mansion  is being offered as a competition prize. The bedrooms are en-suite, with spacious, modern and luxurious bathrooms
The breathtaking £1.7 million six-bedroom Georgian mansion  is being offered as a competition prize. The bedrooms are en-suite, with spacious, modern and luxurious bathrooms

The breathtaking £1.7 million six-bedroom Georgian mansion is being offered as a competition prize. The bedrooms are en-suite, with spacious, modern and luxurious bathrooms

The fully-furnished dream home built in 1780 also comes complete with a snooker table, wine cellar, hot tub and log-burning stove
The fully-furnished dream home built in 1780 also comes complete with a snooker table, wine cellar, hot tub and log-burning stove

The fully-furnished dream home built in 1780 also comes complete with a snooker table, wine cellar, hot tub and log-burning stove

Donna Pirie bought the home eight years ago but decided it was too big for her after her children Lauren, 28, and Hollie, 31, moved out
Donna Pirie bought the home eight years ago but decided it was too big for her after her children Lauren, 28, and Hollie, 31, moved out

Donna Pirie bought the home eight years ago but decided it was too big for her after her children Lauren, 28, and Hollie, 31, moved out

The fully-furnished dream home built in 1780 also comes complete with a snooker table, wine cellar, hot tub and log-burning stove, with everything from Le Creuset cookware to White Company bed linen thrown in.  

Some £5 from each ticket will go towards The Yard, a charity which runs adventure play services for youngsters with disabilities and their families in the east of Scotland.

Every bedroom in the home is en-suite with a bespoke kitchen complete with top of the range appliances. 

And outdoors there is a BBQ grill ideal for al fresco dining under the canopied back terrace, with a giant fire pit in the secret garden.

Ms Pirie bought the home eight years ago but decided it was too big for her after her children Lauren, 28, and Hollie, 31, moved out.

The businesswoman said: 'I've worked hard all my life, I had a few gift businesses. I'm a generous, kind individual and I'm able to make a difference.'

She is now retired after building up her gift businesses and has no firms plans after she finds a winner for her house.

Ms Pirie said she may travel and plans to spend time with her married daughter Hollie, 31, in New York, but at the moment she's not looking to buy another home. She added: 'I just thought that I have the chance to do something for charity here.

'If you get an opportunity to make a difference then it makes life worthwhile. My kids had moved out and I obviously considered selling the place but I changed my mind.

'I wasn't really sure what to do. I then saw a story down in England about a man who raffled off his property.' 

Businesswoman Ms Pirie, 54, said: "I've worked hard all my life, I had a few gift businesses. I'm a generous, kind individual and I'm able to make a difference'
Businesswoman Ms Pirie, 54, said: "I've worked hard all my life, I had a few gift businesses. I'm a generous, kind individual and I'm able to make a difference'

Businesswoman Ms Pirie, 54, said: 'I've worked hard all my life, I had a few gift businesses. I'm a generous, kind individual and I'm able to make a difference'

Furnishings including White Company bed linen and antique furniture will also be thrown in as part of the prize
Furnishings including White Company bed linen and antique furniture will also be thrown in as part of the prize

Furnishings including White Company bed linen and antique furniture will also be thrown in as part of the prize

Some £5 from each ticket will go towards The Yard, a charity which runs adventure play services for youngsters with disabilities and their families in the east of Scotland
Some £5 from each ticket will go towards The Yard, a charity which runs adventure play services for youngsters with disabilities and their families in the east of Scotland

Some £5 from each ticket will go towards The Yard, a charity which runs adventure play services for youngsters with disabilities and their families in the east of Scotland

The stunning bespoke kitchen comes complete with top of the range appliances and Le Creuset cookware
The stunning bespoke kitchen comes complete with top of the range appliances and Le Creuset cookware

The stunning bespoke kitchen comes complete with top of the range appliances and Le Creuset cookware

Ideal as a family home or Scottish holiday home, the large and airy bedrooms offer the perfect place to relax 
Ideal as a family home or Scottish holiday home, the large and airy bedrooms offer the perfect place to relax 

Ideal as a family home or Scottish holiday home, the large and airy bedrooms offer the perfect place to relax 

Outdoors there is a BBQ grill ideal for al fresco dining under the canopied back terrace, with a giant fire pit in the secret garden
Outdoors there is a BBQ grill ideal for al fresco dining under the canopied back terrace, with a giant fire pit in the secret garden

Outdoors there is a BBQ grill ideal for al fresco dining under the canopied back terrace, with a giant fire pit in the secret garden

Despite being built in 1780, the grand property boasts chic, modern fixtures and fittings making it ideal for occupants of any age
Despite being built in 1780, the grand property boasts chic, modern fixtures and fittings making it ideal for occupants of any age

Despite being built in 1780, the grand property boasts chic, modern fixtures and fittings making it ideal for occupants of any age

Entrants for the once-in-a-lifetime draw need to complete a Christmas-themed crossword (pictured) and pay just £25
Entrants for the once-in-a-lifetime draw need to complete a Christmas-themed crossword (pictured) and pay just £25

Entrants for the once-in-a-lifetime draw need to complete a Christmas-themed crossword (pictured) and pay just £25

RAFFLING A HOME: THE GAMBLING LAW 

According to the Gambling Commission, pay-to-enter raffles, draws and competitions, where a person's home is the prize, are becoming increasingly popular among homeowners struggling to sell their property.

However lotteries can only be run for good causes – such as charities or other not-for-profit causes, and cannot be run for private or commercial gain.

In order to qualify as a prize competition rather than a lottery, the outcome must depend on the exercise of skill, knowledge, or judgment by the participant - such as answering a question or completing a crossword. 

Cash paid through the entries will mean Ms Pirie will recoup the value of her home and furnishings before any excess is given away through donations.

She added: 'I had the idea that I could do a prize competition and also help out a charity. It's all being done with good intentions.

'Once the value of the prize has been deducted from the total entries, the residual money will be given as a donation. £5 from every entry will be given to The Yard, while it is intended that any remaining balance will be given as private donations.

'I wanted to do it for a small charity and a Scottish-based charity so that's why I've chosen The Yard. 

'The money will go towards projects they are working on which will be fantastic.'

Ms Pirie is hoping for 150,000 entries before the competition closing date on December 1, meaning she will be able to hand at least £1 million over to The Yard.

If she receives fewer than 150,000 entries, she will then decide whether to reformat the competition to offer only cash as prizes, rather than her home.

The website has so far had thousands of visitors looking to put their name in for the luxurious property. There are also three runner-up prizes of £10,000 each, to be won in addition to the main prize.

The draw will be made on December 3. To find out more, visit https://www.winamansionforchristmas.com/ 

The once-in-a-lifetime prize could be set to go to one lucky winner just in time for Christmas
The once-in-a-lifetime prize could be set to go to one lucky winner just in time for Christmas

The once-in-a-lifetime prize could be set to go to one lucky winner just in time for Christmas

The light and airy kitchen has a breakfast bar, large dresser and plenty of storage amid appliances including a coffee maker 
The light and airy kitchen has a breakfast bar, large dresser and plenty of storage amid appliances including a coffee maker 

The light and airy kitchen has a breakfast bar, large dresser and plenty of storage amid appliances including a coffee maker 

Tickets went on sale earlier this week and the draw will be made during the first week of December
Tickets went on sale earlier this week and the draw will be made during the first week of December

Tickets went on sale earlier this week and the draw will be made during the first week of December

Ms Pirie is hoping for 150,000 entries before the competition closing date on December 1, meaning she will be able to hand at least £1 million over to The Yard
Ms Pirie is hoping for 150,000 entries before the competition closing date on December 1, meaning she will be able to hand at least £1 million over to The Yard

Ms Pirie is hoping for 150,000 entries before the competition closing date on December 1, meaning she will be able to hand at least £1 million over to The Yard

Growing number of desperate homeowners turn to raffles to beat the stagnating housing market 

Father-of-two Dunstan Low is raffling his £650,000 sprawling six-bed country mansion, Melling Manor in Lancashire, for just £2
Father-of-two Dunstan Low is raffling his £650,000 sprawling six-bed country mansion, Melling Manor in Lancashire, for just £2
And rather than sell on the commercial market former Army medic James Clark, decided to raffle his £1.5million estate to raise funds for the humanitarian charity Boots on the Ground last year
And rather than sell on the commercial market former Army medic James Clark, decided to raffle his £1.5million estate to raise funds for the humanitarian charity Boots on the Ground last year

Father-of-two Dunstan Low (left) is raffling his £650,000 sprawling six-bed country mansion, Melling Manor in Lancashire, for just £2. And James Clark (right), decided to raffle his £1.5million estate to raise funds for the humanitarian charity Boots on the Ground last year

As house prices and stamp duty soar, increasing numbers of homeowners are raffling off their properties in a bid to beat the floundering market.

Father-of-two Dunstan Low raffled off his £650,000 sprawling six-bed country mansion, Melling Manor in Lancashire, for just £2.

Mr Low, 37, aimed to sell 500,000 tickets, in the hope of raising money equivalent to the value of the Georgian home to avoid repossession. Thousands of people entered his raffle but it was finance worker Marie Segar from Warrington who struck the jackpot.

And rather than sell on the commercial market former Army medic James Clark, decided to raffle his £1.5million estate to raise funds for the humanitarian charity Boots on the Ground last year. 

Mr Clark's seven-acre Balmichael Centre, near Shiskine, on the Isle of Arran, came with an adventure playground, 42-seat cinema, coffee shop, gym, grass sledging area, go-karts, duck ponds and even a synthetic ice skating rink.

And he was offering the sprawling and idyllic island estate to one lucky winner for the cost of a £55 raffle ticket.

In 2010, a couple from the Wirral tried to raffle their £725,000 home, but sold only about £10,000 worth of tickets and had to abandon the idea. 

In 2008, Brian Wilshaw, 64, had sold 46,000 tickets at £25 each for a chance to win his stunning 11.5 acre Oldborough Retreat in Morchard Bishop near Crediton, Devon.

Father-of-three Brian decided to raffle the retreat because of the credit crunch and the slowdown in the housing market. But the Gambling Commission put the brakes on his attempt, saying it had asked the couple to prove that a question which entrants needed to answer to buy a raffle ticket wasn't too easy. 

In 2009, Christoph Jaeger from Hamburg paid just £25 for a ticket which won him the Oldborough Mansion estate at Morchard Bishop, near Crediton.

Brian and Wendy Wilshaw decided to raffle the property to beat the slowdown in the property market.

Mr Clark's seven-acre Balmichael Centre, near Shiskine, on the Isle of Arran, came with an adventure playground, 42-seat cinema, coffee shop, gym, grass sledging area, go-karts, duck ponds and even a synthetic ice skating rink. And he was offering the sprawling and idyllic island estate to one lucky winner for the cost of a £55 raffle ticket
Mr Clark's seven-acre Balmichael Centre, near Shiskine, on the Isle of Arran, came with an adventure playground, 42-seat cinema, coffee shop, gym, grass sledging area, go-karts, duck ponds and even a synthetic ice skating rink. And he was offering the sprawling and idyllic island estate to one lucky winner for the cost of a £55 raffle ticket

Mr Clark's seven-acre Balmichael Centre, near Shiskine, on the Isle of Arran, came with an adventure playground, 42-seat cinema, coffee shop, gym, grass sledging area, go-karts, duck ponds and even a synthetic ice skating rink. And he was offering the sprawling and idyllic island estate to one lucky winner for the cost of a £55 raffle ticket

 

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