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Big Bingo winner loses everything and can’t claim benefits

  • 03 Dec 09
  • Written by Charlotte Widmore

bingo winner is loserA bingo winner and young mother who won a £50k bingo jackpot in August of 2007 is being refused benefits by the UK Department of Work and Pensions agency after squandering the huge bingo jackpot.  Cheryl McCann according to an article published in The Sun split the cash with her friend who had lent her the money to play at a local bingo hall.  The remainder of the cash has now gone and the 33 year old mother of three is allegedly broke after using the cash to live on, and with some of the money going on luxuries like holidays, gifts for family and friends and furniture.

Ms McCann is now so poor that sometimes she can’t afford to buy lunch for her children so keeps them home, relying on handouts from her mother to survive.  The bingo jackpot was won by Ms McCann at the Leeds based Mayfair Bingo club and lasted the winner barely a year after which time the cash was gone.  All the things that had been purchased on the back of the bingo win have needed to be sold off to help the family survive including the new car that McCann has purchased.  Now deeply in debt McCann is being threatened with eviction due to non-payment of rent, and the benefits agency is not backing down and continues to refuse assistance, with a spokesperson stating “While we accept reasonable spending of savings or similar resources when calculating entitlement to means-tested benefits, we have to be sure the taxpayer is not being asked to pay someone who has deliberately spent money or used up resources that could have provided an alternative income”.

The article published in The Sun has stimulated some pretty scathing remarks from the general public that seemingly have no sympathy for the young woman’s predicament. We are really interested to know what Bingo Hideout readers think.  Do you think the benefits agency should help Ms McCann now that she no longer has any access to cash to support her family?  Or do you believe the whole reason for the benefits agency is to help those that need it no matter what the circumstances behind a claim? What would you do if you won such a large sum, would you spend, spend, spend? Or would you save the money or use it to set up a small business?  Come on Bingo Hideout readers share your thoughts on this interesting bingo win subject.

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