This is truly a case of beginner’s luck paying off in a big way. A Lincolnshire, England man who had only been playing online bingo for a few days recently hit the world’s largest Internet bingo jackpot after scoring £5.90 million ($9.51 million US) on a bet of just 30 pence, or just under 50 cents in US money. The 60-year-old from Long Sutton, a market town in the South Holland district of Lincolnshire, was working as a Jobcentre employee when he made the win playing an online video slot game based on the Batman film The Dark Knight, on an online bingo site he was still learning how to use.
John Orchard is a 60 year old who “ was looking at working for another five years at the Jobcentre” but now said the win “will change my life completely.” After the factory he was working in closed when its production center was moved to China, John and Linda were financially devastated. They could not pay their large mortgage, so according to John, they simply stuck a pin in the map and ended up in Long Sutton, a town with an average property value of £147,000 ($236,000 US). Orchard is only one of thousands around the world who have recently caught the online bingo fever, as the pastime has exploded in growth and popularity the last few years. The grandfather of three won the money on the ButlersBingo website. He waited several hours the day of his win before telling his wife, because he simply was not sure that he wasn’t dreaming, he said.
One of the first financial decisions he made was trading in his “sensible” Renault Clio and purchasing a £40,000 ($50,000 US) Jaguar XF. He and his wife Linda plan to visit their great-granddaughter in Canada, as well as extravagantly celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary next year. Mr. Orchard said he expects Christmas this year “to be a blinder!” Though he made the historical win a few days ago, he waited until December 13 to resign from his job because he just couldn’t believe that good fortune had come his way.
The particular game he played at the online bingo site was part of a progressive jackpot that grows as global players jump in and play the game. His world record win beats the previous Internet bingo jackpot record of €6.30 million ($8.24million US) won by a 36 year old businessman from Greece. The previous UK online bingo record was held by Soraya Lowell, 38, who won £1.20 million ($1.93 million US) in Lanarkshire, Scotland in 2008. And earlier this year in the United States a U.S. Marine won £1.7million ($2.74 million US) on a Las Vegas fruit machine.
His wife Linda simply did not believe him when he told her that he was certain he had won the life-changing amount of money playing online bingo. When the company which owns the website called them to confirm his win, he said they would have to speak to his wife because she thought “he was making it all up.” The head of promotions at ButlersBingo, Ian O’Farrell, said that his company was thrilled to help Mr. Orchard become a record breaker and that they “cannot wait to deposit” the money that would make him an instant millionaire into his bank account.
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