Lorry driver strikes it lucky with �23,000 bingo prize

FELIXSTOWE: A lorry driver is celebrating today after scooping a national bingo prize of more than �23,000 – but he will still be turning up to work at the port as usual this morning.

Brent Dunnington, 65, of Queen Street, Felixstowe, won the cash prize at the Felixstowe Palace late last night after being the first in all the participating halls across the country to fill up his bingo card.

He walked away with a prize of �23,165 – made up of �20,000 in national prize money, a “zone” prize of around �3,000 and a Felixstowe club prize of �42.

Regular bingo player, Mr Dunnington, known to his friends as ‘Smurf’, said: “I was waiting for my last number – 73 – for eight calls and I didn’t think it was going to come through, so I couldn’t believe it.

“I thought I might have won the regular prize but not the whole lot.

“I got lots of kisses off the girls in the bingo hall, and they were all saying congratulations.

“I felt absolutely fantastic – we are over the moon.”

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Mr Dunnington will be spending the money on two very special causes – he and his wife, Tina, will put some of the money towards a holiday in Scotland to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary this October.

But he will also be putting �500 towards the Treehouse Appeal for East Anglia Children’s Hospices, as his five-year-old granddaughter Tilly Jennings, also from Felixstowe, has been a regular user of the Ipswich hospice since she was born with a chronic heart defect.

Bingo hall manager Vivienne Warren said: “It’s fantastic for somebody local and a regular player to win that kind of money.

“I’m delighted when anybody wins but when they can win a substantial amount like that, it makes it worthwhile.

“He’s such a regular customer so for him to win it is just great.”

Mr Dunnington’s biggest win to date was �1,000, although the Palace has seen people walk away with more than �100,000 in the past.

n Have you won a special prize? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail~ eveningstarletters@evening star.co.uk.