TNP PICTURE: BENJAMIN SEETOR
HIS previous wins in contests were small – umbrellas and water bottles.
So when social worker Benjamin Teo Chye Hee, 33, swept The New Paper (TNP) Bingo prize of $5,000 he had to check, and double check to make sure it was true.
“This is the first time I have ever won something so big,” he said.
“I was in the office when I decided to check the Bingo numbers. Realising I had the numbers all in a row I asked myself ‘Are you sure?’ so I took out all The New Paper at the (office) to double check,” he added.
The numbers: 65, 72, 14, 76 and 80.
The prize had snowballed when there were no winners since Mrs Nancy Gay, 64, a clinic assistant, was the first to walk away with $1,000 for successfully completing a vertical row of numbers on her Bingo card last Tuesday.
The other prizes – a Samsung TV and Xbox – have been claimed already.
Mr Teo, who has been reading TNP since his secondary school days, told himself that yesterday was the last chance to win this week.
“Why not give it a try, I told myself.”
But when he did win, he doubted himself for a while: “I was thinking ‘Did I really win? Did I read the numbers correctly?’”
He was at the SPH Media Centre after work yesterday evening to collect his prize.
“I was told I had to wait till 9pm to see if anyone else turns up to share the prize, so the timing was just right,” he said.
Mr Teo was elated when 9pm came and went and he was declared the sole winner. He was even ready to do any pose the TNP photographer suggested.
With the booty of $5,000 in hand, Mr Teo said he will donate some of it to Student Care Service where he works.
“The rest I will save towards my wedding next year,” he added.
When asked if he had told his fiancee the good news, he said: “Yes, and she could not believe it either.”
TNP started the Bingo contest last Monday to reward readers.
The cards appear on TNP’s front page every Monday. Each copy carries one card, with unique numbers printed on them.
Then from Tuesday to Sunday, 10 random numbers from one to 99 will appear in the paper, totalling 60 numbers.
Readers who are participating will have to mark down the numbers from the same week appearing on their cards.
A vertical row of matching numbers entitles the reader to the prize shown on top of the column.
There is a daily cash prize of $1,000 which must be claimed from 82 Genting Lane, Level 2, Media Centre (Circulation Department) by 9pm, the same day that a column of numbers is completed.
If it is not claimed, it will snowball to the next day.
Readers can buy as many copies and get as many cards as they wish, increasing their chances of winning.
As for Mr Teo, he said with Lady Luck “finally shining down on me, I will definitely try Bingo again this coming week”.
“ Who knows, I might just win for the second time,” he said, laughing.