The Cumbernauld homeowner who tried to raffle off his luxury £800,000 mansion for just £5 has had his hopes and dreams quashed by PayPal.

The online money transferring giant has stepped in to pull the plug “in order to protect customers.”

Thousands of bidders are now in line to be refunded to a tune of around £71,000.

As reported by the Evening Times in June, 46-year-old Shamus Fitzsimons became frustrated after failing to sell the seven-bedroom mansion in Dullatur, North Lanarkshire, after it sat on the market for a year.

Along with his other half, the pair ran a competition until Christmas with a target of 250,000 tickets to be sold.

Having gained national attention, Mr Fitzsimons was informed by PayPal that his account had been suspended.

PayPal sent him an email to highlight how he had breached its terms.

The company said in a statement: “We have seen an increase in the number of people setting up house prize draws in recent years, as homeowners seek new ways of disposing of their property in a challenging housing market.

“These prize draws present an unusual challenge. They are difficult to carry out successfully and carry considerable risks, such as the possibility that the property is not accurately described; or that the draw is not conducted fairly; or that entries are made from countries where such prize draws are unlawful.

“After much consideration, we have decided not to allow PayPal to be used to buy tickets for entry to house prize draws in the UK in order to protect consumers, PayPal and the people running such draws from these risks.

“We are sorry to disappoint anyone seeking to use PayPal to run a house draw, but believe this is the right and responsible thing to do.”

The stunning property has a heated swimming pool, sauna, one acre of beautiful garden, and a games room in the west wing.