One of only 15 competition prize editions ever published of a rare “Harry Potter” book, which nearly went up in flames earlier this year, will soon go up for auction.
In 2012, a then-15-year-old Carina Haouchine, from Scotland, scored a winning copy of “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” published to mark the books’ 15th anniversary, according to United Kingdom-based Hansons Auctioneers.
The book, known as “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” in the United States, is the first of author J.K. Rowling’s seven-book saga.
Haouchine, now a 26-year-old documentary filmmaker, won the book during publisher Bloomsbury’s competition to find the UK’s biggest “Harry Potter” fan.
She along with other contest participants were asked to use their creativity and write a letter about why they loved the books based on the fictional boy wizard’s adventures, according to a news release from Hansons.
Haouchine was among 14 runners-up to receive a book copy signed and dedicated by Rowling, and the top winner received a book along with a family vacation to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort in Florida, the release stated.
The books were never released for sale, according to Hansons.
Haouchine said her copy was tucked away in her childhood bedroom and later in the storage cupboard of her apartment in Glasgow, where a tenement fire broke out earlier in the year.
“Thankfully nobody was injured, but it is now uninhabitable. I’m very grateful the book survived,” Haouchine said in a statement.
“The ground floor of the building and stairwell were badly damaged, but my flat, which was on the second floor, wasn’t affected, including the cupboard where the book was stored,” she said.
The special copy will be available on September 5 to be sold to the highest bidder at Hansons Auctioneers’ Library Auction, to be held at Bishton Hall in Staffordshire, England.
The auctioning company says it could go for up to around $15,000.
Jim Spencer, the head of Hansons’ Library Auction, said in the release the public had no clue what this edition of the book looked like until last year. “There was no visual record of its existence online; none of the competition winners had shared images, there was really only a brief record of the competition itself,” Spencer said.
Haouchine, who said she grew up with her mother reading her the “Harry Potter” books, is selling her prize copy to put the money from the sale toward her wedding and future with her girlfriend.