It was a case of beginner’s luck for Diane Simpson, an education auxiliary from Banffshire, when she scooped £26,628.09 in the National Bingo Game on Saturday (17th March 2007) at Carlton Bingo in Fraserburgh.

By March 21, 2007

In Fraserburgh for the day visiting family, Diane played bingo for the first time on Saturday, after much persuasion from her brother and sister in-law.  Joining them and her husband, Diane showed she is a natural with numbers after scooping the afternoon jackpot.

Speaking about her win, Diane Simpson said:

“I’m speechless and in a state of shock. Saturday was my first time at the bingo and I can’t believe how things turned out.

“I think it was very much beginner’s luck. My brother and sister in-law are regular players at Carlton Bingo and I think they were shocked at how lucky I was. They’ve been going for a number of years and have never had a win like this.

“I’m not sure what I’m going to do with the money. I haven’t quite got my head around it but am swaying towards investing my winnings and putting it towards my retirement.”

Manager at Carlton Bingo, Fraserburgh, Steven Bone, added:

“There is something to be said for beginner’s luck. What a fantastic introduction to bingo for Diane.

“A big win on the National Bingo Game brings home the sense of community that is felt within Carlton Bingo. Although Diane was new to the game, our regular players rallied round to congratulate her on her win.

“This is our first big win of 2007 and hopefully there are more to come. The atmosphere is electric after a big winner; it’s a great boost to all our staff and players.”

Diane won the National Bingo Game prize of £25,000, plus a further Zone prize of £1,628 after she completed a ‘full house’ in 43 numbers.

Notes to Editor

1.  Carlton Bingo, an indigenous company with a 72-year history, is Scotland’s largest independent Bingo operator. Carlton Bingo has 160,000 registered players. With its headquarters still in its home town of Inverness, it has evolved and grown to £24 million turnover organisation with 16 venues across Scotland and England and 524 staff. The company adheres to strong ethical principles of social responsibility towards its customers, suppliers, staff and the local community. It regularly raises money for charity on a national and local level. Carlton Bingo was the first bingo company in the UK to be awarded a GamCare certificate of Social Responsibility.

2. National Bingo Game
 Prize amounts may vary slightly from those quoted, subject to Game scrutiny and validation.

The National Bingo Game’s top prize on a Saturday is £100,000 and as well as the main prizes there are 10 regional National Bingo Game Zone prizes of up to £5,000.

• The National Bingo Game is the second largest computer controlled game in the UK, the national lottery being the largest.
• Around 500 clubs link together to play the National Game everyday, except Christmas Day.
• Over £1m is played for every week in prize money on the National Bingo Game and over £35m in bingo over all.
• From 18th July 2005 the National Bingo Game introduced ‘Afternoon Delight’ to bingo clubs nationwide to win up to £20,000, Monday to Friday afternoons.
• Total prize money won since the National Bingo Game started in June 1986 currently stands at £938,000,000.               .
• Bingo got its present name in 1930 when an American, Edwin Lowe, patented the name.  The game was reputedly played by the Romans, and was recorded as a children’s game under the name of ‘lotto’ in 1778.
• There are 688 licensed bingo clubs in the UK.
• Over three million people play bingo regularly in the UK (more than twice a week).
• Eight per cent of the UK population play bingo – 10% of all women and 5% of all men.
• The average customer at a licensed bingo club spends £15-20 on an evening at bingo.  This includes bingo tickets, VAT and duty, food, drink and other gaming, but excludes any winnings.
• Most common reasons for playing bingo are because it’s fun, it offers companionship and the chance to socialise as well as winning big money.
• Celebrities love bingo!  Catherine Zeta Jones can thank bingo for her career after her dad won enough to afford to send her to theatre school; Robbie Williams went to his local Bingo club in Stoke and played bingo with Daryl Hannah in his music video for Feel. 
• Other celebrity fans include: Denise Van Outen, Scott Mills, not to mention The Queen, who apparently chooses to call ‘Palace’ rather than ‘house’!
• A number of celebrities also started their careers in bingo calling, including Simon from boy band Blue, Eastender’s Shane Richie, Russell Crowe and Kian from Westlife.

Jen Symington
Tel: 0131 554 1039

Georgina Palmer
National Bingo Game Regional Press Office
Tel: 01438 718 500

21st March 2007