Life-swap raffle mum keeps the main prize in $1.5m lottery
A woman who claimed she was putting her house, land, cash and business, purportedly worth $1.5 million, up for raffle will keep it, despite selling thousands of tickets worth up to $1 million.
Natalie Giumelli, 31, a dog kennel owner from Woodstock, south of Townsville, has posted on her website congratulating a NSW couple - only referred to as John and Kate M - saying the pair "were both very excited to take home the cash prize" in the draw on September 24.
The cash prize is understood to be substantially less than $1.5 million because a controversial clause in the fine print of the draw states the winner won't win the $1.5 million house and business prize if less than 40,000 tickets are sold.
Instead, the winner would receive cash to the value of half of all tickets sold.
Ms Giumelli did not answer questions from The Courier-Mail as to how many tickets she had sold, at $55 each, or how much cash the winners had won.
Ms Giumelli has not announced the winner of the draw on her Yapper Valley Pet Resort Facebook page, where she had earlier posted news of her ban from selling tickets in Queensland.
The cash-only draw came just days after Ms Giumelli was forced to refund all Queenslanders - a significant portion of ticket buyers - after authorities took her to the Supreme Court to shut down the illegal game.
Ms Giumelli must refund all Queensland ticketholders by October 11, and tell authorities who got refunds by October 25, according to a consent order made by a Supreme Court judge.
She was also banned from selling tickets to Queenslanders since August 20.
The lottery was the first of its kind in Queensland. She told tickets nationwide - except South Australia - and attracted national media attention.
The Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation first warned Ms Giumelli in April that the trade promotion was not lawful under the state's Charitable and Non Profit Gaming Act because her lottery appeared to be for personal gain.
OLGR investigator Janet Lea Brock told the court in her affidavit she had asked Ms Giumelli in emails: "Where is the other 50 per cent of the sales going? What will this money be used for?"
Ms Giumelli's lawyer Matt Hansen replied half of proceeds would go to running costs of the dog kennels.
Ms Brock also questioned the value of the kennels given that Ms Giumelli unsuccessfully listed it for sale in 2015 for an asking price of $1.4 million.
The draw had originally been set for June 21 but was pushed back to September 24.
Mr Hansen told the OLGR that Ms Giumelli, was inspired by The Block Monopoloy promotion - a national promotion conducted by the Nine Network to award an apartment from the TV show The Block - and a Victorian couple who offered their cafe for lottery.
Ms Giumelli did not respond to detailed questions about the competition from The Courier-Mail and whether she would try to sell her business the traditional way now that the lottery had failed to dispose of it.