Win a home in Wicklow? £20 ticket for a €200,000-plus apartment

Winner will get apartment in Delgany with all legal fees and stamp duty paid

The apartments at Eden Gate, Delgany, Co Wicklow

The apartments at Eden Gate, Delgany, Co Wicklow

 

An apartment in Delgany for £20? With all legal fees and stamp duty paid? This is what Co Wicklow couple Ann Marie and Alan Sparks have offered as the prize in a draw they are promoting through the Greystones Open Forum on Facebook. Their goal is to sell 20,000 tickets at £20 (about €23) each – run through raffall.com, a London-based platform – and, says Ann Marie, it will yield three winners.

First, it will give someone a free home; second, the owners expect to make more on the property than if they were to sell it on the market in the traditional way, after paying capital gains tax and the winner’s fees; and third, 5 per cent of the gross amount will go to charity.

Ann Marie says she hopes it will show that there is a new, alternative way of getting a home: in this case a one-bed in Eden Gate, a leafy development built by Cosgraves in 2005 and fully renovated by the Sparks two years ago.

The balcony
The balcony

Another Eden Gate one-bed is on the market through Ed Dempsey & Associates, and the selling agent says bids already exceed the asking price of €210,000. And the demand is reflected online: last weekend, when the draw was launched, it sold more than 600 tickets through Facebook, and Raffall featured it as a “top performer” on its website.

The chosen charity is the Ross Nugent Foundation, set up in memory of the Sparkses’ nephew who died of a rare cancer in 2010. The charity, which has had to cancel its usual fundraisers, buys equipment for hospital oncology wards.

Solicitor paid

After a winner is chosen, the conveyancing will be done on behalf of the owners by Dublin-based solicitor Chris van der Lee, who works with other hosts of property competitions in Ireland; a different solicitor acts for the winner. Raffall guarantees the revenue and pays solicitors and charities directly.

The competition ends on October 31st, or whenever the last ticket is sold. If the target is not met, Raffall picks a winner, who receives 75 per cent of the ticket revenue; Raffall keeps 25 per cent and the Sparkses and the charity receive no money. Stelios Kounou of Raffall says an Irish law firm looked after its affairs in relation to corporate, property and gambling law when it started to operate here; they are classed as “prize competitions” and are monitored by the UK Gambling Commission.

Kounou says Raffall is running 20 property competitions in Ireland: 17 are residences, two are pubs and one is a share of a distillery. “Everyone is going to start doing this,” says Ann Marie Sparks, who is confident of reaching the target. “And why not?”

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