altA couple who have been waiting to have their dream wedding for almost a decade have finally got their wish thanks to a massive win at their local Gala Bingo hall. Sue Garland (aged 42) and Luke Ferendon (aged 38) met eleven years ago and have been engaged since 2004. They also have a nine-year-old daughter called Tamsin. Unlike some couples, their long engagement was by no means deliberate; Luke was against marrying in a registry office but simply couldn’t afford to give Sue the wedding he felt she deserved. However, that all changed after a night at Gala Bingo when he won a terrific £12,000 from a £1 stake!

The bingo-loving pair visit the club every week, and usually simply do a dummy run of the networked Party Xtra XL game. This particular evening, however, Luke had £2 left to spend, and after debating whether to appease his rumbling tummy with a packet of nuts or buy tickets for the game, he opted for the latter and decided to play two boards. It’s a decision the couple certainly won’t regret, because it resulted in a glorious win of £12,164.

While Luke says it doesn’t sound like much money to some people, he says “it’s enough to make our dream come true.” Sue, who has been patiently waiting to tie the knot for the past nine years adds, “every year we thought we would do it but there was always something [else] to pay for,” and that their win will change their lives forever.

It could have been a very different scenario, as Luke says he was “so gobsmacked” when he crossed the last number off his card that he “just went totally numb.” Luckily though, Sue was quick enough to press the button and shout out “Bingo!” despite being “virtually hysterical.”

Originally, Luke had planned to put the money to good use by buying a truck for his business, and, had gone so far as withdrawing cash and arranging viewing. However, he says that when he looked at the money on the kitchen table, “all of a sudden it didn’t seem so important any more.” He realised that he finally had the money to wed Sue “the right way,” and decided the money would be far better spent on having a wedding to remember.

Of course, none of it would be possible without Gala Bingo, and the club’s operational manager, Sharon Smith, will be a special guest at the couple’s wedding.