A 60-year-old Long Sutton man is expecting a full house at Christmas after winning £5.88million on an online bingo site.
John and Lynn Orchard, of The Maltings, were still in shock yesterday after spending the previous day with representatives of Butlers Bingo, who presented them with a giant cheque and a bottle of champagne.
It is the biggest win ever on an online bingo site and John says he scooped the jackpot prize on Sunday with just a 30p bet on the site’s slot machine.
He said: “There’s a random megawin and it came up for me. When it happened I couldn’t believe it – even after Butlers Bingo confirmed it.
“My wife was nervous about them coming down yesterday but we had a tremendous day. We were presented with a giant cheque and champagne – the people from the site seem genuinely pleased for us.
“It still hasn’t sunk in yet. It’s like it’s happening to someone else. The money isn’t in our account yet, so it’s like we’ve won it but not really.
“We didn’t realise there was such a lot to do when you win, but that won’t be a problem.”
One of the first things John did on Monday morning was contact his employers at the Jobcentre in Wisbech, where he worked as a disability employment officer.
John, who started working at the Jobcentre after retiring from the merchant navy, said: “I told them I wouldn’t be back in again, but not a lot more as I hadn’t had the visit from Butlers Bingo then.
“I decided to give up work because I turned 60 in October, so I thought now is a good time to retire.”
The couple are planning a weekend away at Centerparcs to discuss what they will do with the money. John said: “We just want to talk, relax and plan our future – take time away to let it all sink in.
“I had planned to buy my step-daughter, Michelle, an iPad – now I can buy her a house instead.
“Her partner, Norman, was made redundant on Monday, so the win couldn’t have come at a better time.
“Michelle has always been there for us, so it will be great to help her now.”
A trip the couple will be making soon is to Vancouver in Canada. John, who has three other children, says he has been in touch with them to tell them the good news.
He said: “I have a great-granddaughter in Vancouver who was born this year called Lynn – now we can go and see her. But as for anything else it’s too soon to say. We’ll have a good Christmas, though.”
Ian O’Farrell, head of promotions at ButlersBingo.com, said: “We’re thrilled to be a record-breaker and pay out the biggest online bingo win ever.
“We cannot wait to deposit £5,883,044.43 into John’s bank account.
“With dozens of jackpots to choose from, anyone could be the next winner.”