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'We haven't stopped smiling' - dad who won €375k house

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Venkat Reddy Akkapelli and wife Ambica Chada celebrate with son Gautam Rana (8) after their win

Venkat Reddy Akkapelli and wife Ambica Chada celebrate with son Gautam Rana (8) after their win

Venkat Reddy Akkapelli and wife Ambica Chada celebrate with son Gautam Rana (8) after their win

A young family who never dreamed of owning their own home have struck the jackpot after winning a new house in Dublin worth €375,000.

At the start of December, mortgage adviser Venkat Reddy Akkapelli was on Facebook when he noticed that Cavan GAA were selling raffle tickets for a three-bedroom, double- fronted house at Barnwell Woods in Dublin 15.

At €100 a ticket, the father-of-one hesitated for a moment about making such an excessive bet but took the risk when he read that all proceeds would go to the club's facilities.

Mr Akkapelli, who moved to Ireland from India more than 10 years ago, told the Herald that his life changed for ever when he received a call from Cavan GAA several weeks later to inform him he was the lucky winner.

SCREAMING

"I just couldn't believe it and kept asking the man on the other end of the phone if it was really true," he said.

"He asked me to check out their website to see the results for myself. It then finally hit me.

"My wife was reading my son a bedtime story at the time when she heard me screaming. She thought I had won €5,000 or €2,000 in the raffle, but never imagined that I actually won the grand prize.

"We didn't sleep at all that night and called our parents in India who were just as excited as us."

The ecstatic dad said they are now preparing to move out of their apartment in Dublin city centre.

"We are all so excited, especially my son who now has his own room and a garden to play in," he said.

"He plays cricket for Sandymount YMCA and is very active, so I was glad that the proceeds of this raffle were going towards a good cause.

"We haven't stopped smiling since."