A grandmother told him he had won a £3.5 million house, he thought it was a hoax and went to the pub, only to buy drinks for everyone when he realized it was true. Susan Havenhand, 71, a grandmother of ten, was told by phone that she had kept the plush mega-pad in the Cotswolds.
Susan and her husband John were on vacation and initially refused to believe it was genuine, with John even telling her to hang up so they could go to a bar. Omaze officials then had to talk to Ella’s daughter Harriet, who lives next door, to contact them and convince her parents that they really had won.
Susan and retired college manager John, 70, celebrated by buying everyone a round at the French bar. His £10 ticket won the latest draw for the Omaze Million Pound House, a stunning £3,500,000 six-bedroom house with panoramic views of the idyllic Cotswolds countryside, while helping to raise £1,000,000 for the RSPCA.
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The couple have three daughters, Harriet, 42, Kate, 39, and Polly, 36, as well as ten young grandchildren. An Omaze film crew went to Susan’s home in Somerset to reveal that she had won, but the lucky winner was on vacation in France.
Susan explained, “When we first got the call from Omaze to tell us we had won, my husband was convinced it was an elaborate hoax. In fact, I was so sure that he told me to hang up and go to the local bar with him.
“I left it for an hour or so, but once I talked to our daughter who was at home with the whole film crew, I finally realized that this was really genuine. I was absolutely stunned, I went straight to the bar to celebrate with John, who still couldn’t believe it.
”We bought drinks for everyone there all night since we can definitely afford it now. We’ve worked in education for a combined 80 years, so this will really help us enjoy our retirement.
“We have ten beautiful young grandchildren who will absolutely love this house – they all love tennis too, so we will be hosting our own Wimbledon Championships this summer.”
He continued, “We think people never really win these things, and even though we’re in the house now, it still feels like we’re dreaming, we’re still waiting to wake up! It just goes to show that you have to be in it to win it!”
“We can probably buy a new car – the current one is 22 years old and has 160,000 miles on the clock! He won, he was still helping to raise money for a fantastic cause.”
The lavish, three-story, 10,000-square-foot home comes fully furnished and includes a state-of-the-art kitchen, en-suite bathrooms, heated outdoor pool, tennis court, sauna, fitness center, and movie theater. It comes with just under two acres of outdoor space, complete with a pond, waterfall, and private woodland.
The house was built from local stone and timber to ensure it fits well into the local environment and the landscaping was designed with the topography of the Cotswolds in mind. The property is surrounded by glorious countryside, with Leckhampton Hill Nature Reserve and Charlton Kings Common in the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty just a stone’s throw away.
The house comes mortgage free with all stamp duties and legal fees already covered. Susan has also received £50,000 in cash to help her settle in, and she is free to live in the house, rent it or sell it. If she decides to use the house for holidays and long-term rentals, estate agents estimate the average monthly rental income to be between £12,000 and £15,000.
As well as making Susan and John billionaires, the draw has also raised £1,000,000 of crucial funds for the RSPCA, the UK’s oldest animal welfare charity.
Chris Sherwood, Executive Director of the RSPCA, said: “Partnering with Omaze has given our fans a fantastic opportunity to help us change the lives of animals and in doing so have a unique opportunity to change their own lives by winning a amazing house..
“We are truly grateful to everyone who has participated as all the money raised through this partnership will help us in our vital animal welfare work to rescue animals that need our help.
“We are approaching our busiest time of the year and this funding will help RSPCA animal rescue teams cancel cruelty this summer.”
And James Oakes, International Senior Vice President at Omaze, said: “We are delighted that Susan has won her dream home and has been able to contribute to this fantastic £1,000,000 raise for the RSPCA in the process.
“Omaze is a win-win for both the charities and the entrants. By offering an amazing prize like this stunning house in the Cotswolds, we’re giving people the chance to win their dream home, while also introducing the charity to audiences that wouldn’t.” can usually reach. This method of fundraising is helping to make a huge difference to causes across the UK.”