Imagine winning the lottery for a $4.2 million home – a dream that many of us can only hope for. For Kevin and Andrea Griffin, a working-class couple from Ballarat, Victoria, Australia, this dream became a reality when they emerged as the lucky winners of a stunning home featured on the popular reality TV series, “The Block”.1 Winning such a lavish prize should have been a moment of pure joy and celebration. However, for the Griffins, their incredible stroke of luck took an unexpected turn, resulting in an ongoing controversy that has gripped the nation.
Winning the Lottery, but With a Twist
The Griffins’ journey began when they entered a raffle organized by Adrian Portelli, a millionaire businessman who is well-known for his extravagant lifestyle, earning him the nickname ‘Lambo Guy.’ The raffle offered a $4.2 million home in Gisborne, located 54 kilometers northwest of Melbourne, as the grand prize.
The Griffins had been paying a $20 per month membership fee to Portelli’s company, LMCT+, for over a year before their life-changing lottery win. LMCT+, which Portelli founded in 2018, sells subscriptions costing up to $100 per month, offering subscribers the chance to participate in exclusive competitions with enticing prizes such as homes, bikes, cars, and boats.
Initially, the Griffins’ excitement knew no bounds. They believed that they were the proud owners of a fully furnished dream home. The house was, after all, featured on a reality TV series renowned for its luxurious makeovers. But their joy turned to shock and dismay when they realized that their beautiful lottery prize was missing over $100,000 worth of luxury items that were originally showcased in the promotional videos.
These missing items included a robo-mower, treadmill, wine collection, Smeg appliances, and even a BBQ smoker. The Griffins expected to walk into a fully equipped, luxurious home, but what they found was far from their expectations.
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The situation took a surprising turn when Portelli released edited footage of the Griffins during the property handover. In the video, the couple appeared to be raising concerns about the property, including the pool, a missing wine fridge, and the quality of workmanship in some rooms.2 The edited video led to strong reactions from the public, with many labeling the Griffins as ‘ungrateful’.
The couple quickly defended themselves, stating that the video had unfairly portrayed them. They clarified that Portelli had asked them to take note of anything in the home that needed attention and that the edited video didn’t reflect their true feelings of gratitude for winning the house.
One of the major disputes revolves around missing items, including wine and appliances. The Griffins were surprised to find that their house was devoid of valuable wine, which had also been featured on a website allowing giveaway participants to take a virtual tour of the property. Portelli insisted that these items were not part of the lottery prize, as stated in the terms and conditions. According to the Griffins, the dream home they had won was riddled with defects that required expensive fixes before it could be comfortably lived in.
Portelli threatened to sue the Griffins for defamation if they went public with their grievances. In response, the Griffins have maintained that they are not ungrateful but deeply concerned about the missing items and the house’s condition. They have even explored legal action to address the issues.
Hope for a Lottery-Winning Compromise
The controversy has captured the nation’s attention, leaving many eager to see how this unusual dispute will be resolved. Despite their challenges, the Griffins express their genuine gratitude for winning the house and consider it a unique opportunity, even though it came with unexpected twists.
The couple remains in negotiations with builders from “The Block” to make necessary repairs and hope that their dream home can be finished properly. It’s a situation that reminds us that even the most remarkable prizes can sometimes come with unforeseen challenges, but for the Griffins, the dream of homeownership is worth the fight.
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- “Why an Australian couple are furious after winning a $4.2million home: ‘Nightmare’.” Daily Mail. Kevin Airs and Jesse Hyland. October 11, 2023.
- “Couple explain why they’re so upset after winning a $4.2million home – and their brutal message for haters who say they’re ungrateful as new photos show what it’s really like inside.” Daily Mail. Wayne Flower. October 17, 2023.