A young woman who won her dream car in a charity raffle has spoken out after it was repossessed just months after she picked it up.
Hairdresser Amelia Conway, from the Victorian town of Colac, was scrolling through Facebook when she stumbled across a charity raffle for her dream car, a modified Widebody Y62 Nissan Patrol, worth at least $100k due to custom modifications.
The giveaway company, Hello Lifestyle Australia, promised the winner the fully-kitted car with all on-road expenses paid.
Ms Conway said she bought $120 worth of lottery tickets to enter the draw to win the car, with the lottery company promising to give all proceeds to youth charity Red Frogs.
Then several months later, after entering the draw, Amelia found out she was a winner when her name was read out in an online live stream.
Small-town hairdresser Amelia Conway (above) won a Nissan Patrol in a Hello Australia Lifestyle raffle in 2022
Amelia later discovered there was still money owing on the Patrol (above) and it was repossessed last Wednesday
‘It was unbelievable really, it was just nuts. Everyone was going crazy,’ she told ABC.
Hello Lifestyle Australia flew Amelia and her sister up to Queensland from their home in Colac, regional Victoria, so they could collect the vehicle.
But when she returned home, Amelia had to spend about $1,000 to make the car roadworthy, despite Hello Lifestyle Australia promising all on-road costs would be covered.
One of Amelia’s friends suggested that she do a Personal Property Securities Register check as the win seemed too good to be true.
A $2 search on the Personal Property Securities Register lets people check if any money is still owing on their possessions.
When Amelia finished the check, she found the vehicle still had money.
‘I thought maybe they had paid it out, and it’s taken a little while to clear, but that wasn’t the case,’ she said.
Amelia (pictured with her partner) tried to contact Hello Lifestyle Australia about the Patrol, which left her $1,000 out of pocket, but struggled to find help
Perth dad Aaron Edmundson won another Nissan Patrol (ad above) but said he had to fork out $7,500 in on-road costs, roadworthy, licensing and stamp duty
Amelia tried sending texts to Hello Lifestyles Australia to check if the Patrol was transferred to her name and if all on-road costs had been paid, but received no response from the company.
Then the worst happened, with a man showing up at her property at about 8pm last Wednesday to repossess the vehicle.
‘He said, “I’m here to pick up the Patrol for Nissan finance as it hasn’t been paid for”. I was pretty upset, I just froze,’ she said.
In a Facebook post, Amelia said: ‘The Patrol is gone and I am trying to gather information through other people that have won anything through Hello Lifestyle Australia to take it a lot further.
‘It’s not fair on myself or anyone else that has won anything through this company, it’s just heartbreaking.’
Hello Lifestyle Australia (above) has since closed down with charity Red Frogs claiming they received very little from the company, despite its promise that all raffle proceeds would go to it
Red Frog Australia said Hello Lifestyle Australia promised to raise the charity around $150k, but didn’t ‘deliver anywhere near that’.
‘They did pay us a small amount on that (first) raffle, but that was all we ever got off them. They did subsequent raffles, and we never got anything,’ Red Frogs chief operational officer Steve Davies told ABC.
Several other have left reviews online claiming the company wouldn’t let them cancel their membership while others simply described Hello Lifestyle Australia as ‘dodgy’.
Perth dad Aaron Edmundson claims he spent $7,500 on a Nissan Patrol he won from Hello Lifestyle Australia, estimated to be worth $120,000.
The company initially said it would cover the $7,500 worth of on-road costs, roadworthy, licensing and stamp duty but after months of emails Mr Edmundson gave up and sold the car.
It’s understood the company has since closed, with all its social channels, email addresses and website now unavailable.
Daily Mail Australia has tried to reach Hello Lifestyle Australia for comment.
Victoria Police are investigating Amelia’s claims.
WHAT’S A CHARITY RAFFLE?
A charity raffle is lottery run by a organisation where the profits are donated to a selected charity.
Raffles typically offer fun prizes with winners selected at random.