Scottish Entrepreneur’s House Lottery to Raise £1 Million for Charity

Another million-pound house lottery is underway, but the owner has come up with a novel way to find a winner in order to avoid the wrath of the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC).

Donna Pirie house lottery.

Scottish businesswomen Donna Pirie wants to sell her home and give £1 million to charity with a unique house lottery. (Image: LinkedIn)

Donna Pirie, a former gift business owner, is given punters a chance to win her six-bedroom Georgian house worth £1.7 million by entering a £25 crossword competition.

After reading the story of Dunstan Low and his wife Natasha Doboz who raffled off their £845,000 mansion back in August 2017, Pirie decided to try something similar with her property.

You Need More than Luck to Win

However, unlike previous house lotteries, Pirie not only wanted to do something for charity, but avoid having her plans scuppered by the UKGC in the same way Brian Wilshaw did back in 2008. Under UK gambling laws, private lotteries/raffles can only be run for charity and not commercial gain.

Based on this, a house lottery must therefore determine a winner based on something other than luck. In this instance, Pirie is planning to give £1 million to charity by donating £5 of the £25 entry fee to The Yard. However, to ensure there is an element of skill sufficient enough to make it more than a straight lottery, Pirie has asked all entrants to complete a crossword.

When the competition closes on December 1, one correct entry will be picked at random and not only win a house worth £1.7 million, but the following items:

A housekeeper for a year

A groundskeeper for a year

A nine-hole golf course

Tennis courts

A helicopter landing pad

A gym

Donation Dependent on Interest

In total, Pirie hopes to receive 150,000 entrants for her competition. Should she hit her target, she’d receive £3.75 million and have enough to not only cover the sale of her home, but give at least £1 million to The Yard which provides adventure play services to disabled children in East Scotland.

Pirie has said she will consider reformatting the lottery competition and/or potentially offer a cash prize alternative if she fails to receive enough entries by the closing date of December 1, 2017. 

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