Woman who won ‘dream’ Mayo cottage for €50 looks forward to remote working

Raffle by Covid-19 survivors raised close to €1m for frontline healthcare support staff

The cottage in Co Mayo.

The cottage in Co Mayo.


The Dublin-based woman who won the weekend charity raffle for a postcard-pretty holiday cottage in Co Mayo says she first learned of her good fortune when contacted last Saturday morning by a Canadian-based journalist seeking an interview about her win.

She told The Irish Times she assumed the email was “some sort of scam” and dismissed it entirely until she scrolled further down through her inbox and realised there was also an email from the cottage owners and the Mayo-based auctioneer assisting with the home transfer.

Then she realised she had in fact secured her “dream home” way out west after an investment of just €50.

“I bought five tickets a couple of weeks after reading about the cottage in The Irish Times earlier this summer but then I forgot about it completely,” she said.

Living area.
Living area.

The home near Foxford, Co Mayo was raffled by the Canada-based Irish owners and raised just short of €1 million which will now be used to fund educational bursaries for frontline healthcare support staff.

The couple are both Covid-19 survivors and decided in June to raffle their house because they wanted to give something back after surviving the virus.

Their decision to raise money for frontline healthcare workers excluding doctor and nurses sprang from a combination of their own recent experience of the virus, seeing friends and family around them affected by cancer, and a lifelong belief that support staff in hospitals do not get the recognition they deserve.

The tickets cost €10 and after a little publicity in this paper, the money rolled in for weeks. It quickly surpassed the couple’s initial target of €250,000.

Contributions came from all quarters but mainly from people with links to Ireland. The majority of ticket buyers purchased in small amounts, while a few stretched to 25 tickets for €250.

The 150-year-old cottage, on the Mayo side of the Ox Mountains, had been placed on the market through local agent CK Auctioneers earlier this year and attracted offers of up to €90,000.

The new owner ended up paying just €50 for the property.


“I am definitely going to keep it, it is my dream home,” she said. “I lived in the US for 20 years and always dreamed that I would own a cottage like this close to the Atlantic but this has come like a bolt out of the blue,” the winner, who has asked to remain anonymous, said.

She expressed the hope that she would be able to travel from her Dublin home to the cottage a couple of times a month and would also be able to stay there for extended periods. “Like most people now I am working remotely so I will be able to do my job from anywhere,” she said.

Her siblings can also look forward to getting keys to the new cottage and will be able to use it as a holiday home, as will her friends. “It is just so brilliant, not only have I won but so much money was raised for charity and it is great so to see the health workers getting the recognition they deserve.

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