A young woman who won her dream car in a charity raffle has spoken out after the car was repossessed months after she picked it up.
Hairdresser Amelia Conway, from the Victorian town of Colac, was scrolling through Facebook when she came across a charity raffle for her dream car, a custom Widebody Y62 Nissan Patrol, worth at least $100,000 due to custom modifications.
The giveaway company, Hello Lifestyle Australia, promised the winner the fully equipped car with all expenses paid.
Ms Conway said she bought $120 worth of lottery tickets to enter the draw to win the car, with the lottery company pledging to donate all proceeds to the Red Frogs youth organization.
Several months later, after entering the drawing, 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 2022 Nissan Patrol in a Hello Australia Lifestyle raffle
Amelia later discovered that money was still owed to the patrol (above) and it was repossessed last Wednesday
“It was really unbelievable, it was just crazy. Everyone went crazy,” she told ABC.
Hello Lifestyle Australia flew Amelia and her sister from their home in Colac, regional Victoria, to Queensland to collect the vehicle.
But when she returned home, Amelia had to spend around $1,000 to get the car roadworthy, despite Hello Lifestyle Australia’s promise that all on-road costs would be covered.
One of Amelia’s friends suggested she do a Personal Property Securities Register check, as the win seemed too good to be true.
With a $2 search of the Personal Property Securities Register, people can check to see if any money is still owed on their assets.
When Amelia finished the check, she discovered that there was still money in the vehicle.
“I thought maybe they paid it off, and it took a while to figure it out, but they didn’t,” she said.
Amelia (pictured with her partner) tried to contact Hello Lifestyle Australia about the patrol, which left her with $1,000 out of pocket, but struggled to find help
Perth’s father, Aaron Edmundson, won another Nissan Patrol (ad above), but said he had to pay $7,500 in on-road costs, roadworthiness, licenses and stamp duty
Amelia attempted to send text messages to Hello Lifestyles Australia to verify that the patrol had been placed in her name and that all travel expenses had been paid, but received no response from the company.
Then the worst happened, with a man showing up at her property around 8 p.m. last Wednesday to repossess the vehicle.
“He said, ‘I’m here to pick up the patrol for Nissan’s funding, because 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’m trying to gather information from other people who have won something through Hello Lifestyle Australia to take it a lot further.
“It’s not fair to myself or anyone else who won anything through this company, it’s just heartbreaking.”
Hi Lifestyle Australia (above) has since closed with the charity Red Frogs, claiming they received very little from the company, despite a promise that all proceeds from the raffle would go there
Red Frog Australia said Hello Lifestyle Australia promised to raise approximately $150,000 for the charity, but “didn’t come close”.
“They did pay us a small amount for that (first) lottery, but that was all we ever got from them. They then did raffles and we never got anything,” Steve Davies, Red Frogs chief operating officer, told ABC.
Several others have left reviews online claiming that the company would not let their membership be cancelled, while others simply described Hello Lifestyle Australia as ‘untrustworthy’.
Perth dad Aaron Edmundson claims he spent $7,500 on a Nissan Patrol he won from Hello Lifestyle Australia, which is estimated to be worth $120,000.
The company initially said it would cover the $7,500 in road costs, roadworthiness, licenses and stamp duty, but after months of emails, Mr. Edmundson gave up and sold the car.
It is understood that the company has since shut down with all of its social channels, email addresses and website now unavailable.
Daily Mail Australia has attempted to reach Hello Lifestyle Australia for comment.
The Victoria Police are investigating Amelia’s claims.