A GRANNY has built an astonishing £3.5million Cotswolds mansion for just one tenant.
After entering the Omez Million Pound house draw, 71-year-old Susan Heavenhand scooped up plush pads from her gym, pool and cinema as well as £50,000 in cash.
The former secondary school teacher, originally from Sussex, bought her winning entry on the final day of the contest after seeing an ad on TV.
And a few days later she was so stunned to find the news that she would walk away with the top prize, she thought it was a hoax.
The 10,000-square-foot, six-bedroom home is fully furnished and includes a state-of-the-art kitchen, heated outdoor pool, a sauna, gym, cinema room, tennis court, and en-suite bathroom.
There are just under two acres of outdoor space, complete with a pond, waterfall, and private woodland.
The gorgeous property is surrounded by spectacular countryside, just a stone’s throw away, in the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with nature reserves Lakehampton Hill and Charlton Kings Common.
It is built using local stone and wood to ensure that it sits well within the local environment, having been designed with the Cotswolds topography in mind.
The home comes mortgage-free, which includes all stamp duty and legal fees.
Plus, Susan will be given £50,000 in cash to help settle down, and is free to live in, rent or sell the property.
The grandmother and her husband John, 70, share daughters Harriet, 42, Kate, 39, and Polly, 36 — as well as 10 younger grandchildren.
A film crew came to their home to share the good news, but they were away in France and were struggling to make ends meet.
The stunned winner said: “When we first got Omez’s call that we would win, my husband was convinced it was an elaborate hoax.
“He was so convinced in fact that he asked me to call and come to the local bar with him.
“I left it for an hour or so, but once I talked to my daughter Harriet, who was at home with all of the film’s crew, I finally realized it was actually real.
“I was absolutely stunned, I went straight to the bar to celebrate with John, who still couldn’t believe it.
“We drank everyone there all night, because now we can definitely buy it.”
I was absolutely stunned, I went straight to the bar to celebrate.
Susan said: “We’ve worked in education for a combined 80 years, so this is really going to help us enjoy our retirement.
“We have 10 beautiful young grandchildren who will absolutely love this home – they all love tennis too, so we will be hosting our own Wimbledon Championships this summer.
“We thought that people never really win these things, and even though we’re at home now, it still feels like we’re dreaming.
“We keep waiting to wake up. It just goes to show that you have to be in it to win it.”
Susan said she hopes to spend some of her winnings on a new car because her current car is “22 years old and has 160,000 miles on the clock”.
And she will also support the RSPCA, because along with making her grand prize winner a multi-millionaire, Omaze netted a £1m charity.
‘like a dream’
Chris Sherwood, Chief Executive of the RSPCA, said: “The partnership with Omaze has given our supporters a wonderful opportunity to help us help change the lives of animals, and in doing so have a chance to transform their own lives by winning an amazing home. Unique opportunity given.”
James Oaks, SVP International at Omez, said: “We are delighted that Susan has won the home of her dreams – and was able to contribute this fabulous £1,000,000 to the RSPCA in the process.”
It was the eighth Omaze million-pound house draw in the UK and brings the total raised for a good cause to £5,750,000.
The latest property to grab is a four-bedroom, £3m home in Cornwall, which will raise money for Blood Cancer UK.
The draw will close on 31 July for online entries and on 2 August for postal entries.
Entering the Contest does not guarantee that you will win the advertised property if enough tickets are not sold.
You may instead win a small cash prize, or, in some cases, nothing at all.
What are home raffle catches to watch?
Many people who choose to ditch their home may have difficulty selling it on the open market, so it is important to look at the description of the property on offer.
- If your questions regarding the proposed property are not answered by the Contest’s website, you should contact the Organizer to learn more.
- Check whether the property is freehold or leasehold. If there is a leasehold, check how much time is left on the lease and how much it might cost to renew.
- Find out if there are any service charges, ground rent or other ongoing expenses.
- Some of the most impressive properties such as palaces and manor houses can have huge costs which you may not be able to afford.
- Take a look at the sale prices of other nearby homes on websites like Zoopla and Rightmove to make sure the valuations promoted in the competition are realistic.
- Find out if your legal fees will be covered as part of the award.
- If you win you shouldn’t need to pay stamp duty because the purchase price of the property is effectively just the cost of an entry stamp or nothing if you used the free route.