£3.2m Portsmouth house raffle could see winner take cash prize instead
A BUSINESSMAN raffling off his £3.2m mansion has said he is ‘working extremely hard’ to make the giveaway possible after concerns that a cash prize could be given out instead.
The £10-a-ticket competition to win Winton House, in Portsdown Hill Road, Portsmouth, has been live since last week and sold 8,846 tickets.
The five-bedroom home has its own pool house, annex and orangery and will be raffled off as planned if its owner receives 320,000 entries.
But readers of The News concerned the figure will not be met before the draw’s December 22 deadline are worried the winner could be left disappointed.
If the target isn’t reached the homeowner, businessman Akhtar Siddiqui, can keep the house and 50 per cent of ticket sales would be paid to him to cover admin and marketing costs.
The raffle winner would take the other 50 per cent.
A woman from Leicestershire, who contacted The News, said: ‘Yes the prize would become a cash amount, but not until this promotion company has withdrawn 50 per cent of the takings to cover their costs – which could be as much as £1.5m of course.
‘It doesn’t sit right that (the organisers) could be making a million and retaining the house at the same time.’
The details of the alternative prize are set out in the terms and conditions.
Mr Siddiqui told The News: ‘We are working very hard to spread the word about the raffle and promote it across the UK, and globally, in a number of ways.
‘We are using different types of paid advertising which incurs more and often high costs, and so if the number of entries required are not met, we have decided to set the taking of the admin and marketing costs at 50 per cent.
‘This is mentioned in the terms and conditions on our website, which all potential entrants are given the chance to read before they enter.
‘We are conducting the raffle and working tirelessly to promote it for one reason, so that we do have the best chance possible to achieve the number of entries required, meaning in December someone wins Winton House.
‘That is my goal, and we are working extremely hard to achieve it.’
Thousands will be spent on targeted social media marketing for the raffle from this weekend, Mr Siddiqui said.
He said the £3.2m valuation for the property was carried out by estate agent Henry Adams, based in North Street, Emsworth.
Marketing work for the raffle is being carried out by Lit Digi Ltd, a firm he co-incorporated in March.
Mr Siddiqui added: ‘As the owner of a marketing company it does not make sense for me to use a third party company to promote the competition.’
The draw is at 7pm on December 24.
A second closing date of January 31, 2021 will be chosen if the target for entries is not reached.
A spokeswoman for the Gambling Commission, which regulates all UK gambling, said it constantly monitors all house raffles.