Couple tell of shock of being forced to scrap house sale raffle Nazia Parveen, The Guardian · January 7, 2019 at 12:01 am In November 2015, Avril and Robert Smith’s lives changed forever. Their 39-year-old daughter died suddenly and the family home became too many painful to remain in. After repeated attempts to sell the house via conventional methods, including three price reductions, they were unable to secure a buyer. In desperation, they decided to try another, more risky, method. In August last year, their son, Matthew, suggested they try to raffle the four-bedroom property in the tiny North Yorkshire village of Grosmont. But Robert, 75, and Avril, 68, remain the reluctant owners of their home.