An NHS nurse and foster mum has become the proud owner of an incredible home in the Lake District worth £3 million – which she won with just a £20 raffle ticket. Catherine Carwardine, 59, entered Omaze’s million pound house draw on Valentines Day in a bid to bag the fully-furnished residence in Bowness-On-Windermere, using a promotional code to submit 120 entries.
Catherine found out she had won the beautiful six-bed lodge on April Fools Day, and thought it was a prank her kids were playing on her and husband Chris But when she realized it was a dream come true, Catherine, who is now a multi -millionaire, says she was “gobsmacked.”
The spectacular home sits in Bowness-On-Windermere and has breath-taking views over Lake Windermere, the largest natural lake in England.
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Surrounded by mountains, the beautiful property offers a relaxing retreat in a contemporary-style chalet with six lavish bedrooms and five bathrooms.
The dream home also boasts luxury facilities such as a huge terrace with panoramic views over the lake, cozy log fires, a cinema room, sauna, steam room, state-of-the-art gym, staggered gardens and a workshop.
Catherine, who is originally from Wolverhampton, has worked as a nurse for 40 years and now works in an IT role for the NHS.
She and husband Chris have been living in a five-bedroom home in Telford with their daughter Charlotte, 19, and 18-year-old Mya. The couple also share Gareth, 35, Jessica, 31 and 21-year-old Joshua.
A team from Omaze paid a surprise visit to the couple’s front door, only to be greeted by Charlotte, and Mya, as Catherine and Chris, 59, were on holiday in Italy.
“At first, we didn’t believe it as it was April’s Fools’ Day. We thought the kids were playing a prank on us, but then we realized we actually had won and were totally gobsmacked,” Catherine said.
“We didn’t know how to celebrate as we were both in shock, I don’t think either of us slept a wink that night. When we got back from holiday the children greeted us on the driveway with champagne spraying everywhere, we felt like F1 drivers.
“Now we’ve seen the house we’re still pinching ourselves, it’s absolutely perfect and already feels like home. We’re definitely going to keep it and can’t wait to move in.”
Omaze launched the million pound house draw to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK, and after the draw concluded they managed to raise £1 million from raffle tickets, with the cheapest bundle of 15 entries costing just £10.
The winners could decide whether to move into the home permanently, use it as a holiday home and rent it out for the remainder of the year, or sell it and become a millionaire overnight.
“We will rent it out to generate some extra income so we can help all our children and pay off our mortgage faster. We can even finish our current house, which has been a work in progress for years. We love this new house so much though we don’t want to rent it out too often,” Catherine said.
“All the children are now busy planning the rest of our lives, they’ve never been so interested in us. I’ve worked for the NHS for 40 years and even though winning this prize is so life changing, I love my job and will keep on working for the foreseeable future.”
At the heart of the home is the spacious living area which features a traditional wood burning stove, subtle lighting and comfortable seating.
On the top floor sits the large en-suite penthouse which provides the very best views of the Lake Distract from its own Juliet balcony.
Four other bedrooms, each with king size beds, two with en-suites and three with balconies, are located on the middle floor along with a family bathroom. The final bedroom is located on the ground floor and also comes with a private en-suite.
Outdoors the home features a rustic indoor-outdoor BBQ kitchen, a lavish lounge area, log burner, sound system and television.
Estate agents estimate that the average rental income for holiday and long-term letting of the property is between £6,000 and £8,000 per week, rising to £12,000 during the high season. All stamp duty and legal fees are covered, and Catherine will also be given £20,000 cash.
James Oakes at Omaze said: “We’re delighted that Catherine has won her dream home – and was able to contribute to this fantastic £1,000,000 raise for Alzheimer’s Research UK in the process.
This was the seventh Omaze Million-Pound House Draw in the UK and brings the total raised for good causes to £4,750,000. The eighth and next house draw is a six-bedroom, £3,500,000 house in the Cotswolds, to raise funds for the RSPCA.
Draw entries are now available on the Omaze website. The draw closes on June 5 for online entries and June 7 for postal entries.
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