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Couple raffle off 200-year-old cottage they renovated over two years – for just £5 a ticket

Laura Hampson
·3-min read
It boasts views over Snowdonia National Park (SWNS)
The cottage boasts views over Snowdonia National Park. (SWNS)

A couple who spent two years transforming a 200-year-old derelict cottage into a modern oasis have raffled it off for just £5 a ticket.

Katherine Jablonowska and Ryan McLean bought the 19th century two-bed cottage for £150,000 in 2018.

They spent two years gutting the building, which has views over Snowdonia National Park, before turning it into a luxury modern home which is now worth around £300,000.

The couple never lived in the property on the Llŷn Peninsula in north Wales but spent 14 hour days renovating it. Now finished, they have decided to offer it as a raffle prize, with tickets costing just £5 each.

Janet Shepherd, 40, won the cottage after her ticket was pulled out of the hat on 30 September. The civil servant entered the competition in March after seeing the competition advertised on Facebook.

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Shepherd, a mother of two who lives in Merseyside, said she “went into shock” after being told she was the winner.

She said: “I noticed two missed calls on my phone. I spoke to one of the owners, Katherine. At first, I couldn't quite make out what she said and when she repeated that I’d won I went into shock.

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“It was completely out of the blue and it was a huge shock. I managed to get through to my husband and my voice was shaking. I said everything is absolutely fine and told him we had won the house competition.

“He basically said 'have we got it for a week or something?' and I said, 'No, we've got the cottage for life'. He was just in disbelief. I have had the same reaction from a lot of family and friends who can't believe it.

“We'll use it for the next couple of years for holidays with family and friends. It gives us that financial security so we can do things back home as well.”

The bathroom even comes with a roll top tub (SWNS)
The bathroom even comes with a roll top tub (SWNS)

Owners Jablonowska, 33, and McLean, 41, have also raised more than £65,000 for The Children’s Society after donating £1 from each ticket to charity.

Ryan said: “For us, the draw was something we've looked forward to since the beginning. Speaking with Janet for the first time and telling her she'd won the house was very surreal.

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“It took three tries to get through and we weren't sure if anyone was going to answer. When she did, it just felt amazing to tell her. I don't think anyone could blame her for being a bit overwhelmed.

“By the end of the phone call, it definitely got a bit emotional, even for us. We can't think of anyone else we'd rather give our home too and we can't wait to meet the whole family.”

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