£1.5m island estate raffle cancelled after owner sells too few tickets


AN island estate that was being offered as a £1.5m raffle prize is going back on the market after the owner failed to sell enough tickets.

Balmichael Estate on Arran boasts seven acres, its own adventure playground, and a 42-seat cinema.

So there were headlines around the world last October when owner James Clark offered it for the price of a £55 raffle ticket.

AN island estate that was being offered as a £1.5m raffle prize is going back on the market after the owner failed to sell enough tickets.

But Mr Clark has now revealed that he failed to sell enough of the 27,300 tickets to go ahead with giving away the estate near Shiskine.

Under the rules of the raffle, he will instead award prizes to four ticket holders and give the remaining proceeds to his own humanitarian charity, Boots on the Ground (BOTG).

The estate will shortly be put up for sale on the open market.

The Former US Army medic said: “While we gave it our best effort to sell enough tickets to give away the property, we fell short and so according to the Official Rules, an alternative cash prize is to be given away as the Grand Prize.

“As a fundraiser, it was important to us to have a plan in place early on that dealt with this possibility.”

The grounds of the seven-acre estate

He added: “The good news is someone still wins a hefty bit of cash, and all of the other prizes that were offered too.”

“While we hoped enough tickets would be sold to give away the property, the reserve was not met.

“Per the Rules, BOTG has awarded a significant cash prize to the Grand Prize winner, along with the other prizes to other winners.

“Congratulations to them, and to BOTG who will continue to expand it’s life-saving programs.

“We were honored to be apart of it. Balmichael Centre will now go back up on the market.”

Mr Clark has so far not disclosed how much was raised by selling tickets or the value of the main prizes.

But the original rules, which are still available to view online, list the prizes in the event of too few tickets being told.

In that case, the grand prize winner, instead of the estate, gets 50% of the proceeds from the ticket sales. Mr Clark has revealed that the winner of that prize is from Crestview, Florida.

The winner of the Early Bird Ticket – available to the first 5,000 ticket buyers – gets £770 and this has gone to a resident of London.

James Clark was offering the estate as the grand prize if enough tickets were sold

A third winner, from Centennial, Colorado, has won a painting of unknown value by the artist Jeff Albrecht.

A separate 50/50 raffle could be entered by anyone who bought a ticket for the main draw, paying half of the cash raised to somebody from New York City, with the rest to BOTG.

Social media users took to the lottery Facebook page to express their dissapointment, including Jay McEvil, who wrote: “That’s a shame, such an amazing prize. I thought it would easily sold the required tickets. I dreamt of living there since I got my ticket. Good luck to the lucky one who does buy it!”

Hilary Stubbs said: “Sorry your plans didn’t come to fruition.”

Jan Davidson commented: “We have had such fun since October planning what we could do ‘if we win the farm’. Maybe if we win the lottery, we can buy the farm still.”

Carole Saunders responded: “I’m still sitting with my fingers crossed hoping for that phone call, won’t give up the dream yet.”