Family living in council house win dream £280,000 home and £42,000 car for £1 in raffle

A STRUGGLING family of five living in a cramped council house have won their dream four-bedroom home and car in a £1 raffle. 

Claire Reynolds and Ben Binks, both 34, took a gamble buying £100 worth of tickets to enter a competition for a home in Ossett, Wakefield, which was being raffled off for £1 a ticket.

The parents of Alfie, 15, Riley, 13 and Hudson, two, were living in separate homes and on the verge of splitting up before the life-changing win.

Ben and Claire, from Tingley, West Yorkshire, live just a five minute drive away and have always dreamed of living in Ossett, where their new home is.  

Mum-of-three Claire only wanted to spend a fiver on the tickets, but Ben convinced her to spend more.

It was a lucky gamble, as the pair ended up the winners out of a whopping 400,000 entries.

The couple had bought tickets to raffles before but they had never won anything.

Before their big win, Claire had vowed to never enter another competitor again. 

Claire and Ben were left shocked and excited, and say this is their opportunity for a fresh start for their family.

She said: "We don't live together at the moment and it's always been too small for us and three kids to all live under the same roof.”

“[Ben] lives at his mum's in Morley but spends most of his time in Tingley and he was here when we found out we'd won and I remembered he ran up the stairs and he was screaming telling me that we'd won.”

"I just couldn't believe it. It's something we have always wanted together but it's just never happened as we've always put holidays or the kids first.”

"It's going to be a fresh start and it means me and Ben can give it another go and become a proper family."

The parents will soon pick up the keys to a plush £42,000 Volvo SUV and move into the house worth £280,000 which they won from a family planning to move to Australia. 

Claire said: “This has always been my dream – to give my kids a nice home.”

"We are super excited and when they gave us the keys yesterday it just didn't feel real. It's an unbelievable feeling and Ben keeps asking me to pinch him.”

Ben, a car salesman, described the moment he realised they'd won, saying: “We've always dreamed of getting enough money together to get out.”

“All our life we have wanted something like this to happen to us.”

Previous owner Dale Tate set up the raffle because he couldn't sell the family home during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The new home is only two years old and comes complete with a 75 sq ft garden and garage.

Mr Tate, an electrician, is moving to Australia with his wife Katherine and their four children. 

Mr said he was thrilled the home was going to a "family in need rather than someone who will simply put it up for auction or some rich investor.”

He added: “The family is the most deserving family. We met them yesterday and they have been through some pretty hard times as two of their boys have got health issues and we really couldn't have asked for a nicer family for this to happen to.”

Claire reflected on the win, saying how much it will help the family who have been struggling during lockdown.

She said: “Things have been really tough. My sister's baby died, the funeral was very recent.”

“Riley was diagnosed with ADHD just before lockdown and we've been struggling with that.”

“And our baby has been diagnosed with brittle bone disease, he's broken two legs in the past six weeks.”

On top of that we were all just generally getting on top of each other. Ben was sleeping downstairs because the strain was really getting to us.”

“Our eldest has to sleep in what should really be the dining room, which he hates and we hate.”

Now all the kids will have their own room. They are already fighting over who will get the loft room.”

“We've never really had anywhere stable. Now my two year old will grow up in a stable home. So this has completely saved our whole family. This is life-changing for us.”

Claire and Ben celebrated their win by popping a bottle of champagne outside the Ossett home and they said they arrived to neighbours clapping them and congratulating them on their win.

The couple can’t wait to enjoy time as a family in their new house, which they are due to move into in September.

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