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Free-ish raffle for 10 Majorcan homes


Warning

Apparently this raffle is off for legal reasons. It seems to have gone sour. Though I’m sure George Scott had the best of motives to start his raffle as of September 2010 warnings are coming in that there are financial problems here. jb.

George Scott’s raffle does double duty: it promotes accommodation in the Scotts’ two luxury Mediterranean hotels and at the same time it sells their ten holiday homes. Either way, the raffle concept looks a very attractive deal for people who are planning to go to Majorca – and well worth considering for those who aren’t.

One of the properties on offer

It turns out this raffle is actually George Scott’s first step towards retirement. The apartments and homes form one of his two Majorcan hotels, widely recognised as among the very best boutique properties on the island. Since his doctor told him to slow down his lifestyle he has decided to raffle one of his developments as ten holiday homes, allowing each of the £100/€150/$200 tickets to be used to pay for accommodation or meals at either of his two properties on the island.

There are three ways to buy into this. Guests at his hotels will be automatically entered with a free raffle ticket for every three-night stay, while those who pre-buy tickets and redeem them against their bill on any stay before the end of 2012 will also get a free entry in the raffle. Finally, you might just decide to buy a ticket on the off-chance: the odds are certainly better than any official taxed lottery and if you don’t win a house or a studio you can give your ticket away – it’s redeemable for five years – or sell it to someone else to get back all or a good portion of what you paid for it. Mr Scott thinks there will be a brisk market for them on eBay.

There’s no closing date on the raffle: it will end when the tickets have gone, which is likely to be in a year or less. But it does have a start date, and that’s when your best chances of winning will come: the first (and smallest) property will be given away on the 1st August 2007. If you’re not a winner your ticket will still be entered into the following raffles as the other nine properties are given out, one by one, over the following months. No more than 33,333  tickets will be issued, whether sold or given away to guests, and each can be redeemed on stays at his two hotels, of which the most famous is Scott’s, which has received rave reviews from publications including Conde Naste, Alastair Sawday and the Sunday Times. There are some trifling conditions – such as that the hotels don’t take bookings for less than three days and the tickets being valid for stays only over the next five years – but nothing that strikes me as being too onerous.

Own this view

There are ten properties being raffled, and for your £100/€150/$200 ticket you get ten entries into the raffle, start now and you’ll have ten chances of winning a holiday home, when the first property has gone you’ll still have nine chances, and so on. That means odds that are far better value than any government-taxed lottery. The lucky winners get beautiful properties, designed by leading Spanish architect Pedro Odzoup. Win one and you can do with as you like: rent it out through the summer for income that could reach £26,000 per season for the larger properties, lend it to your friends (though there’s a risk of Tony Blair and family turning up if it’s free) or go live in it yourself.

Usually I’d have serious reservations about handing over this sort of money to a total stranger. In this case all I can say is that George Scott has an excellent reputation in the travel industry, with all the upmarket tour operators using his hotels. I just don’t believe he’d take the money and run.

Whatever the outcome, it’s a great opportunity to visit Majorca’s Tramuntana Mountains, by far the most beautiful and unspoiled of one of Spain’s most stunning islands. Worth a go I’d have thought.

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