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$200 Ticket Wins a $600,000 O.C. Home

June 13, 2004|Stanley Allison | Times Staff Writer

A Los Angeles man won a home valued at $600,000 for the price of a $200 raffle ticket Saturday.

Roy Decauwer's ticket was chosen from about 10,000 sold in a fund-raising drive by the Irvine Public Schools Foundation for the Irvine Unified School District.

The raffle raised $1.4 million for the district.

Developer John Laing Homes sold the three-story, 1,592-square-foot condominium in Irvine to the foundation for $489,000, said a spokesman for the developer.

The market value of the three-bedroom, three-bath home is about $600,000, said Steve Kabel, president of John Laing Homes.

The winner has the option of taking a cash prize of $400,000 instead of the home, which is still under construction.

Decauwer was not present at the drawing at Oak Creek Elementary School, where more than 3,000 people spent the afternoon waiting for the winner to be named.

For ticket buyers, it was an opportunity to support public education while having a chance at a home in one of the nation's hottest housing markets.

Ticket buyers also won cash prizes ranging from $250 to $25,000.

Kathy Hamilton, 43, who owns a home in Irvine, bought a ticket as soon as they went on sale in March.

She has two children attending Stone Creek Elementary School and hopes that the money raised will bring back programs that have been axed.

Despite being one of the best-performing districts in the state, Irvine Unified receives $100 less per student than the statewide average of $4,841 for unified school districts.

"We've had underfunding for years, and we've had to eliminate our art programs, music programs, and this is something that will hopefully bring those things back into the school," Hamilton said.

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