altThe Gala Bingo Ultimate Championships 2011 have come to their end and the crowned champion was named as Roy Stokes. Roy, who confessed he isn’t a frequent bingo player, was awarded his Gala Ultimate Gold Medal, £20,000 cash prize and a five day trip for him and his wife Linda to Las Vegas. After already winning £10,000 earlier in the day, the extra £20,000 was a huge bonus, not to mention winning the great American holiday.

Roy from Welling had begun playing in the competition to support his wife Linda, 59, who is a committed bingo player, regularly attending her local club to play. After six months of qualifying and then the regional play offs, Roy and Linda found themselves at the finals of the Gala Bingo Championships in Gibraltar and eventually Roy managed to beat off 60,000 other players, becoming Gala’s Ultimate Bingo Champion. Funnily enough, Roy, 62 had offered Linda the opportunity to play in the final game but she declined, seeing that he was obviously on a lucky streak – and clearly she made the right choice.

The competition is an annual event held across 142 Gala Bingo clubs and generates a lot of interest and fun for traditional bingo players. In an age where online bingo is becoming more and more popular, these nationwide contests are a great way of keeping grassroots bingo gaming popular. Gala spared no expense when treating the grand finale players when they were in Gibraltar. All 154 invited contestants were treated to a snazzy champagne reception and great entertainment including an Abba tribute act and cabaret. They were of course treated to some exclusive bingo gaming and a fantastic VIP dinner in a waterfront restaurant, giving all finalists a break in the lap of luxury alongside their competitive bingo competition.

The Stokes are still in a daze after their win especially as Roy only plays bingo two to three times a year. Both Roy and Linda found the experience of winning extremely exciting if not a little shocking, Roy reminisced that he didn’t even have a chance to think about his great win before he was up on stage receiving his huge cheque and Linda found herself in tears with the shock! They have many plans for the money including a brand new kitchen and of course, having a fantastic family Christmas with their three children and two grand-children. They’ve also got their fantastic holiday in Las Vegas to enjoy. Of course, they’ll first need to get over the shock of it all.