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A Fitting Send-Off for One of Gala Bingo’s Biggest Winners

  • 26 Feb 13
  • Written by Deena Chance

altBack in January 2010, a great-grandmother from Crawley hit the jackpot whist playing at Gala Bingo. Earlier this month, 80-year-old Carmel Paton was laid to rest by her friends and family after losing her battle with cancer, but you can be sure that this lovely lady was given the send-off she deserved. Carmel became famous in her local area and around the UK when she won a massive £28,000 playing at her local Gala club in Queensway. A regular visitor for ten years, she used to enjoy heading to the hall twice a week for some fun, friendship, and hopes of a full house.

According to her daughter, Jessie, Carmel was originally unconvinced about her new-found hobby. Jessie remembers one of her mother’s friends inviting her along to a bingo night, and says “she turned her nose up at the thought.” However, things would soon change… When Mrs. Paton finally decided to venture down to the Queensway Gala Bingo hall, Jessie says “she absolutely loved it and was hooked.”

When she scooped her huge win of £28k in early 2010, Mrs. Paton and her family were over the moon although, having invested in years of game cards, she believed it was rightly deserved. As a woman who strongly believed in keeping her family close, our lucky lady decided to take the whole family on holiday to Ireland with part of her winnings.

When Mrs. Paton sadly passed away in during mid-January 2013, her relatives had planned to pay tribute to the great-grandmother’s fondness for bingo by routing the funeral procession past the Gala club. Unfortunately, they had to change their plans at last minutes due to worries about causing congestion in the town centre. However, many employees of her local club still turned out to watch the procession of one of their most loyal members on 28th January 2013.

It seems that it wasn’t just Mrs. Paton who became famous during her lifetime, as many members of her family were also renowned. Her brother, Brian Behan, was the author of a book, which went on to become a stage-play in London, Dublin and New York, whilst two of her other brothers were songwriters, and playwrights.

As always, we love to get our reader’s opinions, so if you’re a massive bingo-lover, how would you wish your friends and family to remember you? Perhaps, you’d like them to host a special game of bingo at your funeral, or have your lucky number forever emblazoned on your head-stone?


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