A winner has been selected in the Omaze sweepstakes for a $1.5 million mansion in Lake Mary. And if you like the house and wish it could be yours, you’re in luck. The winner is taking a $1 million cash payout, and the house is going back on the market.
Georgia-resident Alexa H., who is keeping her last name private, was informed that she won the sweepstakes by email this month. “I was leery of it because, obviously, never trust an email,” she said. She researched the people who contacted her before she felt safe enough to reply.
Based in Los Angeles, Omaze is a fundraising platform that uses sweepstakes such as these to raise money for charities. The home giveaway, which began in December, raised more than $500,000 for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children.
“[Arnold Palmer’s] current epilepsy unit cares for more than 2,000 children every year and with these funds, they’ll be able to expand that program and provide more critical support,” said Michael Kinney of Children’s Miracle Network.
A regular donor to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, Alexa said the charity was part of what lured her to participate. “You don’t have to worry about losing money because it’s going to a good cause,” she said.
More than 400,000 people entered for their chance to win the six-bedroom home from Heathrow-builder Cornerstone Custom Construction. While there was a free option to enter, participants could buy additional chances starting at $10.
Alexa knows she at least did the free entry, but she doesn’t recall how much more she might have given. “If it was anything, it wasn’t more than $10,” she said.
In addition to the six bedrooms, the Lake Mary home features a 22-foot tall fireplace, a dedicated wine room and a kitchen with double islands. This is the second Florida home Omaze has featured for a prize; the organization gave away a mansion in Miami last year.
Alexa said the house was tempting but ultimately felt safer with the money. “This was our ability to bring our dreams to fruition 30 years faster,” she said. She plans to pay off some debt and help out her family.
However, Alexa is thinking about buying property in Central Florida. “My husband and I love Orlando,” she said. They are considering investing in a possible Airbnb in the area. “We’re definitely going to figure out how to have some roots there.”
Whatever the prize, Alexa was just happy to win something. “This is the only thing I’ve ever won other than a pencil in the third grade,” she said.
Omaze, who had an option on the home for the sweepstakes, said the rights to the home have reverted to the builder. The house will go on the market starting Friday, March 26, with an asking price of $1.65 million.