GUESTS at the Lakeside Hotel, Hayling Island, were treated to sensational live shows, ultimate 80s anthems and, of course, a few games of prize bingo.
On Friday 20th October, guests checked into Warner Leisure’s Lakeside Hotel, excitedly ready to be transported back to the decade of George Michael, Walkmans and neon legwarmers.
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Warner Leisure, in partnership with Sun Bingo, had put together a packed schedule of activities.
However, here at Sun Bingo, we know that what everyone was really looking forward to was the Saturday and Sunday prize bingo sessions!
The venue was packed, the Sun Bingo banners bedazzled the stage and tangible prizes were waiting to be picked by winners on the Sun Bingo prize website.
All that was left was for the hosts to take to the stage…
Leading the guests through the games and kicking things off with an “eyes doooown” was Sun Bingo’s Chris Ashton and celebrity guest, Sandi Bogle.
While Sandi is mainly known for her TV appearances on shows such as Gogglebox and Celebrity Big Brother, a career in professional bingo calling could be on the cards, given how naturally Sandi took to it.
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Not only did she nail most of the traditional calls (22 – two little ducks and legs 11), but guests were also treated to unique new calls of her own invention.
Those with 57 on their tickets got to dab it off when it was called and learnt that “we’re all going to Heaven”.
With COVID-19 having forced all bingo halls to close during the lockdowns, a number of which never re-opened, these sessions were a fantastic reminder of the joy, sense of community and shared excitement that a big game of bingo can install in attendees.
The prize bingo sessions were a mixture of bingo formats.
In the traditional 90-ball games, the concentrated silence meant you could hear a pin drop, suspense building with each called number until a winner’s excited shouts rang out.
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Suddenly, everyone was up on their feet for a game of last man standing.
The change of pace created an excited buzz. Like an 80s breakdancer, this game takes the classic bingo rules and turns them on their head.
All players get a bingo ticket with 15 numbers. The numbers start to be called as normal.
However, in this game, you DON’T want your numbers to be called. As soon as one of your numbers is called, you have to sit down and are out of the game.
The winner is the person who can go the longest without any of their numbers being picked.
They are the last man standing.
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Although, in this session, the nail-biting final showdown was to determine who the last woman standing would be.
Ultimately, the winner was 65-year-old Ellie from Norfolk: “I’m unlucky and lucky I guess”.
Ellie’s luck wasn’t done yet, as she also bagged a prize the next day.
However, embracing the community spirit of bingo, Ellie gave her second prize to her neighbour, Sheila, so that they both could have a win and select the hair straighteners from the Sun Bingo prize site.
Perhaps there is something to the bingo superstitions about where you sit, as Ellie’s table also enjoyed a third win, with fellow neighbour, Arthur, scooping a prize.
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“I think this is a lucky table” Ellie suggested. Ellie went on to say:
“We’ve had the best fun ever… We do like a bit of bingo… it’s been brilliant… there’s been a really lovely spirit”.
Sandi and Chris kept the 80s disco party going with games of Music Bingo and Theme Tune Bingo.
These required guests to be able to name that 80s tune as well as watch out for which numbers were being called.
From up on the stage, our hosts unleashed their inner rock and roll personas, smashing on air guitars and getting the infectious sing-along spirit rippling through the crowd as the likes of Faith, Tainted Love, Another One Bites the Dust and Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go carried across the room.
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Sandi repeatedly tried sending good luck sparkles across the audience, and some must have landed on Jacqueline Clements, as she won the Disco Bingo game.
The 61-year-old from Essex said, “I’d just said to my friends, I only want 29 and then all of a sudden, Sandi called it”.
“I kept saying, all I want is the air fryer. I’ve already ordered it!”
While this will be a lovely treat for Jacqueline, this does leave her partner, Peter, in a pickle, as he must now think of a new present idea for Jacqueline’s birthday, which is in a few weeks.
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Catching up with players at the end of the Saturday session, I got to meet a few of our brilliant Sun Bingo and Fabulous Bingo players.
That included Deborah Bush and her partner Martin. Deborah won her tickets to the 80s weekend in our Fabulous Bingo competition.
“I didn’t expect it at all”, the 50-year-old from Farnborough commented.
“I’m sometimes lucky but not very often”. Deborah’s first memories of bingo were “loitering outside bingo halls waiting for my mum to finish on a Saturday afternoon… she was really lucky. I wish I had her luck”.
Sun Bingo player Lorna, from London, might not have won her tickets to the weekend but that didn’t stop her from joining the fun.
Lorna is a veteran of Sun Bingo events, having also attended the All Star weekend in Blackpool in March 2023.
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“I’ve generally been a lucky person”. The 58-year-old hopes to attend the next All Star event, which is in December 2023, should her luck hold and she can win her way there.
The Sunday session carried much of the same laughter, fun and excitement.
However, it kicked off with a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday to various guests who were celebrating, which included one guest who had reached the big 8-0!
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Grabbing Chris and Sandi for a comment after they had entertained guests for the second day in a row, Chris had this to say:
“What I really enjoyed about today was seeing people that would never normally play bingo, play bingo.”
The 44-year-old, originally from Hull, went on to explain: “I wasn’t expecting the men to stand up and get involved but they were all getting into it!”
Our celebrity guest host Sandi summarised her experiences of Sun Bingo’s 80s weekend as: “Brilliant, amazing! I loved every single bit. I loved seeing the happy faces of all the guests”.
Sun Bingo’s next event is the return of our All Star Hotel in December.
You can win your way there with promos such as the All Star Wheel, All Star Bingo Games and All Star Slots Draw.
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