The Biggest Bingo Prizes Ever Won
It’s estimated that there are over three million bingo players across the United Kingdom alone playing their favourite game both online and off. So, it’s not a huge surprise that bingo has made multiple millionaires, many of which in Britain.
However, what is surprising is what some extremely lucky winners decide to do with their money and their post-jackpot lives. Let's look at five of the biggest bingo winners of all time, how they came to win their millions and how they predicted the way their lives might change in the future!
Nr. 1 - John Orchard
Jackpot: £5.9 Million
Back in December 2012, devoted grandfather and former factory worker John Orchard was spending his days at the Job Centre helping others find work around Lincolnshire. That all changed one day when Orchard, aged 60 at the time, decided to wager just 30p at an online bingo site and became the world’s biggest online winner of all time. To his absolute shock, Orchard won £5.9 million and wasted no time fulfilling his long-held dreams of fame and fortune.
First off, he traded his Renault Clio in for a £40,000 Jaguar XF, then booked a massive family holiday to Center Parcs and quickly began buying expensive Christmas presents for his friends and relatives. Following his massive win, Orchard told The Sun: “I just couldn’t believe I’d won it. This will change my life completely. I was looking at working for another five years at the Jobcentre – but not any longer.” Instead, Orchard and his wife bought a brand new house in Lincolnshire and retired happily.
Nr. 2 - Georgios M
Jackpot: £5.1 Million
Before John Orchard came along and won his massive jackpot, the record for the biggest online bingo site win was held by a Greek man known as Georgios M. Little is known about the businessman, other than he has by far the most common Greek first name - oh, and that he was just 36 years old when he won a whopping £5.1 million playing online bingo in 2009. Since then, the millionaire has remained anonymous, so we may never know whether he was smart enough to use a no deposit bingo to win real money sort of deal or what he did with his amazing jackpot. Apologies to those hoping to befriend him!
Nr. 3 - Lisa Potter
Jackpot: £1.3 Million
When the Euro Championships are on, non-football fans are usually left unable to do anything without football getting in the way. This was what happened to Oxfordshire-native Lisa Potter back in June 2012, when her partner Terry was completely ignoring her in favour of the sport. To escape the boredom, Lisa decided to try a bit of online bingo and was absolutely stunned when she hit the jackpot after placing a £5 bet. Imagine if she'd decided to play at a site with no deposit free bingo, her jackpot would have been practically free!
Aged 33 at the time and mum to three children, Lisa told The Mirror that she couldn’t believe what had happened, and that she just showed her children before they all began to scream in joy. We imagine her partner was pretty happy as well, to the point where it might have even made him forget the football was on for a second - but we can’t guarantee that! Potter swiftly booked a luxury holiday, bought a new car and even went as far as to purchase a new house all within a matter of days. Ever since her amazing jackpot day, she has been known as Lucky Lisa. We can certainly understand why.
NR. 4 - Soraya Lowell
Jackpot: £1.2 Million
It was all the way back in February 2008 that Lowell of South Lanarkshire, Scotland went from cleaning houses to cleaning up in the National bingo game. At just 38, she won the £1.2 million jackpot and, ever so generously, decided to split her massive fortune with her long-time bingo partner and neighbour Agnes O’Neil. O’Neil had been quite poorly for the three years leading up to the jackpot, and she was, of course, incredibly grateful for the money as it meant her husband did not have to retire early.
Unfortunately, that was not the end of the story for Lowell. Just a few weeks after their win, O’Neil sadly passed away and following four months of turmoil, Lowell filed for divorce from her husband. In 2012, Lowell filed for bankruptcy, proving that money management skills are just as important as the prize itself when it comes to jackpot winnings. Hopefully, the six years she spent spending her money were fun and she still has some joy over being the UK’s biggest in-house bingo winner ever.
NR. 5 - Christine Bradfield
Jackpot: £1.1 Million
Just a month before Lowell claimed her huge jackpot, Christine Bradfield of Bargoed, Caerphilly was briefly named the biggest in-house bingo winner in the UK having won £1.1 million at The Castle Club in Tydfil. Bradfield had been visiting the club on a regular basis for over a decade before she eventually won the prize money on January 27, 2008, while visiting the club with her sister-in-law Lorraine.
The 53-year-old mother of two worked part-time at a garage and, despite having won over a million pounds, actually continued to work her £5.50-an-hour shifts three days a week. She also decided to give some of her jackpot to Lorraine, as the two had been bingo partners for 11 years. Bradfield told reporters: “I feel totally overwhelmed and shocked. All together we only spent £16 for all the bingo tickets on the night… I couldn’t believe it when they told me.” Bradfield vowed that the massive win would not change her and as far as we know, it hasn’t. Hopefully, she is still with her husband Ray, dreaming of bingo jackpots and happy in their humble home in Bargoed. To be perfectly honest, we are surprised that she continued her life as previously. We probably wouldn't, would you?
Whether you prefer traditional, land-based bingo or would rather play online, everyone has a chance to win big at bingo. It seems that many bingo winners share a few common traits, the most important of which is their generosity, with lots of examples of people who chose to either split their winnings with their bingo partner or spending their fortune on close family and friends. We like to think that we’d do the same. Would you treat your loved ones like the lovely winners we listed did?