Mother of two wins $12,000 in Bonus Challenge - the biggest win to date
Mum of two wins $12,100, making her biggest winner in Bonus Challenge history
It was a long anxious day's wait for this housewife who has become the biggest winner in The New Paper Bonus Challenge history.
On just her second try, Ms Joanne Lee, 36, won the jackpot prize of $12,000 yesterday.
As a perk that TNP SuperKaki subscribers get, Ms Lee won an extra $100 on top of the jackpot.
"When I realised that I had won this morning, I remained calm and slowly read through the terms and conditions to be sure about what I had to do," she said.
"I didn't want to be too excited and then disappointed."
The mother of two young children got to News Centre at 7.45pm, 15 minutes before the doors open for Bonus Challenge winners to claim their prizes.
"I thought if I was early, I could collect it and go home," she told TNP last night.
But it ended up being an even more anxious wait to find out if she was the sole winner.
When she arrived, she was informed, as is the practice, that she had to wait until 9pm, the end of the collection window, so that other winners could turn up and claim their share of the prize.
If she was not the sole winner, she would have had to split the prize money equally with the other winners.
Later, the deadline was extended to 9.15pm, to be fair to those who may have been affected by train disruptions involving Braddell MRT station - the closest station to News Centre.
"I've been nervous the whole day and I'm even more nervous now," she said.
"The extra 15 minutes feels like forever.
"Every time someone walks towards the counter, my heart drops."
Another winner would have made a $6,000 difference to her. Two other winners would have brought her prize down to $4,000.
But at 9.15pm, her status as the sole winner was confirmed and Ms Lee squealed with delight.
She said that feeling anxious the entire day was well worth it.
She is now the biggest winner since the competition's inception in 2012. The jackpot prize had snowballed from $1,000 to $12,000 over 11 days.
BIG TREAT: Ms Joanne Lee plans to take her family for a holiday in South Korea. TNP PHOTO: NABILAH NORDIAN
On what she plans to do with her winnings, she said: "I want to take my family on a holiday to South Korea, but the rest of it is going into my savings."
At her home in Pasir Ris yesterday morning, when she saw the matching Candy Crush icons on her card with the icons in TNP, she called her husband, who is in Tianjin, China, on a business trip, to tell him about the news.
"I didn't hype it up too much because I didn't want to disappoint him so I told him that I wasn't totally sure just yet," said Ms Lee, who had received five additional cards as a TNP SuperKaki perk.
"Now, I cannot believe I just won $12,000.
"I'm definitely going to call him and I'm going to have a totally different tone."
When TNP checked with her later, she said she had sent him a Whatsapp message with a photo of herself with the money.
His reply was: "Wah, your pay is more than mine."