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I Won A Home For $10 And Helped A Bunch Of Strangers In The Process

Ever wondered if anyone actually wins those homes that are raffled off for charity? Turns out they do, and the money really does go towards helping others.

Think for a second about the possibilities that would open up for you if you won a dream home simply by purchasing a $10 lottery ticket. A fully-furnished $1.2 million four-bedroom home with a pool – sign us up. That’s what happened to Craig Dennison when he bought a lottery ticket from Endeavour Foundation. That $10 ticket helped change his life forever.

“It's basically changed everything because I've gone from renting to owning a house,” says Craig. “I had divorced a couple of years ago, and never expected to be able to afford my own home. But winning this has meant it's let me be back on the same footing that I would have been if I hadn't have got divorced, with a home the kids love.”

“It has changed a lot in my life.”

He smiles, “At no stage would I ever have expected to win a house!”

Image: Endeavour

But win he did. And his new home is everything you could ever want, with four bedrooms, multiple living spaces, a games room and large three-car garage with separate workshop (complete with tools from Supercheap Auto!). There’s also a large outdoor entertaining area and a pool. Can we move in?

“It's a beautiful house. Endeavour Foundation put a lot of work into it, and it was ready to go when I moved in,” Craig says. “They even put some food in the fridge for me, and in the cupboard, and moved in all the furniture. They did all the hard work”.

He chuckles at how the new home has so much appeal for his children. “Once you’ve got a swimming pool,” he warns, “you can't keep your kids out of there!”

So if you’re anything like us, you’ve probably always assumed that people don’t really take out those “Win your own home” lotteries, right? Well wrong -- turns out, they do!

“There are a lot of people who sit there and say, ‘People never win it.’” Craig agrees.

“But I did! And since I was lucky enough to win, it's changed a lot of people's view on those types of lotteries. A lot of people have put in tickets for the Endeavour Foundation as result of hearing about what I won.”

“It's one of those things now,” he adds, “because they know it’s something you can win, they're more willing to put their money towards it. And at the end of the day, they're not too phased if they don't, because they understand that the money goes to good cause.”

So what is that good cause? The lotteries fund projects that help people with intellectual disability, like building new purpose-built homes, creating learning programs to support development after school and providing employment opportunities.

The Endeavour Foundation -- which has been going for 69 years -- provides a supported and safe opportunity for people with disability to learn new skills without stress. Thanks to their market leading virtual reality technology, they can teach people with disability to learn things like how to make a coffee, how to catch public transport, how to drive a car and even how to drive a forklift.  This safe way of learning relieves the pressure and uncertainty of having to do it in real life until they’re ready.

Image: Endeavour

As well, the foundation teaches using robotics and 3D printing so that people with disability can tap into the skills of the future. And if you think that sounds impressive, they have also done research with the Queensland University of Technology -- using a super cute robot called Cozmo -- into how social robots can help spark collaboration and engagement between people with intellectual disabilities.

All these initiatives give the people they’re helping a chance to be more independent, develop their living skills, exercise more control over their lives and flourish.

And today, with Covid-19 causing many of their services to be temporarily closed, the foundation is also looking at how they can continue to deliver learning and entertainment in new and innovative ways directly in to people’s homes. This started with the delivery of 130 boxes of “fun” to people with disability, to help them stay positive and connected.

In other words, while Craig won a new home, his ticket gave a bunch of strangers the chance to live normal and fulfilled lives. We’re calling that the ultimate win, win.

Image: Endeavour

Craig is now a big fan of all the work the Endeavour Foundation do and has taken time to research it even further. He’s what’s known as a Star Supporter, which means he automatically buys tickets in the lottery every time one is held.

And while he isn’t expecting to win again, he’s not going to stop buying the tickets.

“I'm never going to win another one, but the idea is that while I couldn't afford to pay them back for what they've given me, this is just my contribution. I’m doing what I can at this stage, to give back just a little bit of what they've given me.”

“It was one of those things,” he adds. “I looked at it, and thought, ‘Oh, it's not a bad cause, it’s a good cause to get involved in. And you never know. I might be lucky’”.

He smiles. “I just happened to be one of the lucky ones.”

For more information visit Endeavour Foundation lotteries or phone 1800 319 883.