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Suffolk woman hits the jackpot

PUBLISHED: 15:29 25 June 2003 | UPDATED: 14:02 03 March 2010

A LUCKY Felixstowe grandmother is today plotting how to spend her winnings after she hit the jackpot at the town's bingo hall.

The 57-year-old won the top prize of more than £96,000 after winning the national game while playing at the Palace Club in Crescent Road.

A LUCKY Felixstowe grandmother is today plotting how to spend her winnings after she hit the jackpot at the town's bingo hall.

The 57-year-old won the top prize of more than £96,000 after winning the national game while playing at the Palace Club in Crescent Road.

And the woman reckoned she had made good interest – after spending more than £40,000 playing her favourite game over the past 30 years.

"I have never smiled so much in my life as I have in the last few days," said the woman, who describes herself as "a full-time granny".

"It has always been a joke to my family when I said I would win the national one day. You are in cuckoo land they said.

"But I told them someone has to win it. Why shouldn't it be me?

"They were all gobsmacked when I did. My son worked out that I had probably spent £40,000 over the years. I have made good interest then, I replied!"

The woman lives with her husband, a retired gas engineer, in Walton, Felixstowe, and they have four children and seven grandchildren.

She won the national bingo game prize of £95,000 plus a regional prize of £1,230 after completing a full house in 41 numbers, the lowest anywhere.

She said the money would make a world of difference as living on a pension was not easy.

"People keep saying to me, you can have a cruise or buy a holiday villa in Spain – they have got it all spent for me," she said.

"But it still hasn't sunk in yet. I just think if I want something I can buy it now. I need a new kitchen and my husband is hinting at a new car. I have a big family and they all have little ideas."

fastfacts:

n The national bingo game is the second largest computer-controlled game in the UK – the National Lottery is the biggest.

n Around 500 clubs link together nationwide to play the game 364 days a year.

n More than £1m prize money is up for grabs each week.

n Total prize money won since the game started in 1986 stands at £741 million.

n Bingo got its present name in 1930 when American Edwin Lowe patented it, but it has been played since Roman times and was known as lotto in the 1700s.

n Three million people in the UK regularly play bingo – eight per cent of the population, most of them women.

n Players spend an average of £15 to 320 on an evening, including tickets, food and drink, and tax.

n Even celebrities love bingo – Denise Van Outen, Catherine Zeta Jones and Robbie Williams love to play.

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