A woman who says she was down to her last ten pounds has celebrated scooping an online bingo jackpot by attending her niece’s wedding in style. Pauline Morgan had been a victim of the credit crunch earlier this year and was made redundant from her job and says she put what was ‘my last tenner’ on a game of Cinco on tombola bingo.
The 43-year-old was left totally speechless as her numbers came up on the simple online card game, scooping the £20,000 jackpot and immediately changing her life.
The married mother of two said: “My whole world was totally flipped upside down that night. I was playing on the computer and my husband was in the room too. When all my numbers came up straight away, I just jumped up and down and started crying. I couldn’t believe what had happened.
“We’d had a hard time with me losing my job and I said to my husband, Tim, that I would use the last tenner and see if it would bring us a bit of luck on tombola.co.uk. I’ve been playing on the site for about 18 months and had never won anything on this scale before. My husband thought something really bad had happened when I burst into tears, but he looked at the screen and realised I’d won the online jackpot. It has totally changed my life.”
Only then does the incredible story of the 46-year-old’s win start to unfold. Pauline’s niece, Jo Bowden, contracted the deadly e-coli bug two years ago and the entire family held its breath as specialists gave Jo just a 20 per cent chance of surviving.
But 22-year-old Jo won her incredible fight against the odds and in December this year married her childhood sweetheart in the beautiful setting of the Royal Duchy Hotel in Falmouth. But, it looked like it was a fairytale wedding that Pauline, who lives in Worcester, would have to miss out on.
She explains: “Earlier in the year, I had already told my sister that I wasn’t going to be able to make it to Jo’s wedding as we simply could not afford to stay overnight. The trip was too far to do in one day. I was so disappointed.So when we won the £20,000 on tombola.co.uk, the first call I made was to Jo to tell her I would be at the wedding after all. We treated ourselves to one of the swanky rooms at the Royal Duchy to celebrate. Given the circumstances of Jo’s illness and the chances they gave her, the whole day was so beautiful. I’m so glad we were there last weekend.”
But the incredible story takes one final, incredible twist when Pauline reveals exactly when and how she won her life-changing sum.
She picks up the story: “It was the opening day of the Olympics back in August. The eighth of the eighth, 2008. I thought ‘well, if it’s lucky for the Chinese, I hope it will be lucky for me’. It still freaks me out when I think of the final card that won it for me on tombola.co.uk…it was the eight of hearts!”
Pauline says the win meant she not only was able to celebrate her nieces wedding day in style, but has also been able to clear her debts, put on a very special Christmas and treat her mum, who suffers from Parkinson’s Disease, as well as her husband’s parents, to a swish weekend away in Torquay. She joked: “We would have taken them much further, but they all refuse to get on a plane!”
Susanne Kennedy, Customer Relationship Manager for tombola bingo said: “Pauline’s story is so heart-warming. We cannot imagine the time her and her family has had over the last couple of years, but it’s so nice we’ve been able to help towards the happy ending they’ve all had.”