Lady Of The Manor
Question: how much did a Ms Marie Segar pay to acquire a completely renovated 18th century Grade II listed Georgian manor house in Melling, Lancashire which boasts six bedrooms, a cinema room and great views to boot? The £800,000 asking price the house was originally put on the market for? Try again. Half the asking price, £400,000? Wrong again. Knock four zeros off and you have the answer, for Ms Segar paid just £40 to get her name on the title deeds after she won a raffle organised by the vendor, a Mr Dunstan Low. When the more traditional route of putting the semi-detached property on the market generated zero offers, Mr Low took matters into his own hands and decided to sell 500,000 lottery tickets at £2 each with the holder of the winning number getting his or her hands on the keys. It worked a treat. People from all around the world bought tickets generating £900,000 in sales. Ms Segar herself shelled out £40. However, despite having 20 tickets, she was convinced Mr Low was “winding her up” when he rang to tell her a random number generator had picked out her ticket. Speaking at the time, Ms Segar said: ‘I’m just in shock. I can’t believe it, I just can’t. I’ve only ever won £9 on the lottery.’ And as if acquiring an £800,000 property for just £40 was not enough, Ms Segar has also become Lady Melling after the previous owner of the title, St John’s Hospice, donated it to the raffle following a £30,000 donation from the Low family. Rather than take up her seat as Lady of the Manor, however, the now Lady Melling decided to rent out the property. And at just £1,500 per month, she had no problem in finding a tenant. Give that Lady a Segar!