Lovelorn Chris Hall had seen all the sizzling Poldark romances on TV – and decided to try his luck with a new life in Cornwall.
The 40-year-old London dustman quit The Smoke for Redruth, a Cornish town that was at one time the centre of the tin and copper mines, as portrayed in the hit BBC drama.
But there was no galloping across the cliffs for bachelor Chris, who may have found himself unlucky in love but has found good fortune at Betfred… winning £50,000 from a 50p outlay on Bonus King Bingo.
Workaholic Chris, who prides himself on regularly being early enough to catch the worm having always woken with the larks at 4.20am, said: “My last serious girlfriend was 18 years ago, and she was called Mel.
Chris is a notorious early bird, always getting up for work at 4.20am
“I suppose I am a little bit shy. I have tried online dating but they never look anything like the pictures they put up.”
He went on: “I’d had enough of London and just wanted a change of lifestyle, so about eight years ago I moved to Cornwall in the hope of a quieter life somewhere I could live a bit longer and you never know – maybe meet someone.
“I’ve always worked hard. First as a dustman in London, then in a warehouse here in Cornwall and for the last two years as a cleaner in the pub earning £8.21 an hour doing 12 hours a week, which is £10 a week more than being on the dole. I just like working for a living – and doing my best living life to the full.
“I’ll never forget my holidays in Cornwall when I was a kid, with my bucket and spade, and I thought I’d give it a go and see what the future brings. It’s certainly a slower pace but I’m enjoying it… especially now after this big win!
“After my early shift at the St Rumons Social Club I am often first in the queue to get in the Betfred shop opposite on Fore Street when it opens at 9am. I love having a go at the bingo, and just picked the numbers 2, 7, 8, 10, 36 and 47 at random.
“I was absolutely stunned when I realised I’d got all six numbers. I just said ‘Oh My God’ and went up to the counter. I couldn’t believe what was happening. It was like a dream and that I would roll over at any minute to the sound of my alarm going off at 4.20 – and I’d end up going to work as usual.”
Chris plans to use his bingo windfall to pay off some household bills – and a once in a lifetime holiday to Thailand.
Chris with his celebratory bottle of champers courtesy of Betfred boss Fred Done
“I’m told the food and drink there is cheap,” he added. “The beaches are great and the nightlife is amazing. I did think about going to Mexico but it might be more expensive there.
“To think I have won well over twice as much as I was earning as a binman, for just a 50p outlay, is incredible. I went a funny colour in the shop as my pals in there with me were offering their congratulations. It’s brilliant what has happened and I can’t thank Betfred enough.”
Chris’ change in fortune didn’t however stop him keeping to his habitual routine… setting his alarm as usual and waking up early ready to start work as usual at 5am – cleaning toilets, hoovering carpets and polishing tables at the St Rumons bar.
Betfred boss Fred Done said: “It’s a wonder Chris isn’t going to buy himself a horse so he could go galloping around the Cornish cliffs in search of his very own Demelza, or swimming in the sea like that Poldark actor fella Aidan Turner.
“Good luck to one of our regulars who fully deserves this big win. His life has certainly taken a turn for the better, emptying my pocket from just a 50p outlay.”