Shropshire

Woman, 23, wins farmhouse in Valentine's Day raffle

Shrubbery Farm House
Image caption Shrubbery Farm House failed to sell when it was put on the market with an asking price of £545,000

A 23-year-old woman has won her £545,000 "dream house" with a £2 raffle ticket.

Jemma Nicklin, who earns about £17,500 a year, had recently opened a help-to-buy ISA to save for her first home.

Her parents, sister and her boyfriend had all entered the draw for the 17th Century Shropshire farmhouse too, she said, adding that the win "hasn't quite sunk in."

The owners sold 340,000 raffle tickets when the cottage failed to sell.

Miss Nicklin, an administrator for transport firm Ring and Ride, said she missed a call telling her she had won while she was on shift.

"My bosses told me to call back straight away.

"When I found out we all started crying."

Image copyright Nicklin family
Image caption Jemma Nicklin (centre left) with boyfriend Kieran Parker, mum Alison and sister Kacey

Miss Nicklin lives with her parents in Bilston, West Midlands. She bought two raffle tickets after her parents bought 10.

"Mom couldn't stop screaming," Miss Nicklin said.

"My dad still doesn't know because he can't have his phone on at work," she said.

Miss Nicklin's boyfriend Kieran Parker bought five tickets and was convinced he would win the four-bedroom house, she added.

Clarkes Solicitors in Telford said it would take up to five weeks for the house to be transferred to Miss Nicklin.

Image caption Raffle tickets for the 17th Century cottage were £2 each

Owner Mike Chatha offered to pay the £1,000 legal fees and the stamp duty for the winner.

He also offered a £5,000 second prize for the person who generated the most ticket sales via social media.

Mr Chatha and his wife Linda, who have separated, organised the raffle after the Longnor cottage - called Shrubbery Farm House - failed to sell for £545,000.

He said he planned to donate some of the money to children's hospice Hope House and other charities.

Image caption The 17th Century four-bedroom house was described as the sort of home "everyone falls in love with", on the competition's website

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