A Lincolnshire man has won the first-ever Omaze Million Pound House Draw, with the draw raising £250,000 for Teenage Cancer Trust.
Ian Garrick, a 56 year old civil servant from Mablethorpe won the house, which is located in the heart of footballers’ paradise, Cheadle Hulme in Cheshire. The father of three grown up sons, Garrick lost his wife Julie nearly 5 years ago to cancer. He paid £10 to purchase 15 entries to the Omaze Million Pound House Draw, a promotion that was open to and raised donations exclusively from participants in the UK.
Omaze has committed a minimum of one million pounds to Teenage Cancer Trust over the next three years from UK donations, and this was the first promotion.
The money will help fund the charity’s frontline nurses and youth workers within the NHS.
“I saw the draw on Facebook and I saw that it was a cancer charity. It was breast cancer that my wife had but she left teenage kids behind so I linked it that way in my mind. I thought, “why not!” I shoved a tenner in and didn’t think any more of it. Since my wife died, we’ve basically been in limbo. The house has been falling down around us. We’ve just been trying to hold each other together. If I’m honest, we needed some sort of boost to carry on.
“My dream when entering the draw was to get away from here for a fresh start and it’s happened. I still can’t get my head around it. It’s a new start for me. A new start for my sons… leaving some of the bad memories behind and starting again. A new house, new experience and a new train of thought for us all is exactly what we need. I’m not saying money is a cure for all problems but it will make life’s challenges positive ones.”
Los Angeles-based Omaze has already raised over £100 million that has gone to support more than 350 charities around the world. As a “thank you” to those who make a donation to support good causes, Omaze offers participants the chance to win big prizes ranging from once-in-a-lifetime celebrity experiences to luxury prizes including super-cars and exotic holidays.
Previous winners have played mini golf with Bono, lunched with George and Amal Clooney at their Lake Como home, watched the Game of Thrones series finale with Emilia Clarke, enjoyed a Valentine’s date with Idris Elba and driven a tank with Arnold Schwarzenegger. One winner collected the keys to a white Lamborghini Huracan signed and blessed by Pope Francis himself.
James Oakes, SVP International, Omaze said:
“Omaze is a win-win for both charities and donors. By offering incredible prizes like a million-pound home, we’re giving people the chance to win, while also introducing charities to donors they wouldn’t have access to otherwise. We’re thrilled that Ian got to help out a charity that means a lot to him and can now enjoy this life changing prize in time for Christmas!”
Kate Collins, Chief Executive of Teenage Cancer Trust commented:
“Coronavirus has had a severe impact on Teenage Cancer Trust’s income, slashing it by a third – a shortfall of around £6m a year. Earlier this year we launched an emergency fundraising appeal so we can protect our ability to provide vital specialist nursing and support across the UK.
“Partnering with Omaze has been a vital way for us to complement that appeal, and we’re delighted by the incredible outcome of the Million Pound House Draw. The funds raised will help ensure our nurses and youth workers can continue providing exceptional care to young people with cancer when they need us the most.”
Omaze has already raised more than three million pounds that have gone to support good causes across the UK, including a £1.1million donation that enabled the building of children’s hospice Julia’s House in Devizes, Wiltshire, which came from an Omaze partnership with Robert Downey Jr and Guy Ritchie.
Details of the next Omaze Million Pound House draw will be announced in December.