Lucky Emma Wise got more than she bargained for at the bingo.
As if winning twice in as many minutes wasn’t enough, the 36-year-old also walked out with a new fiancee.
Long-term partner Steve Kalidoski, 43, got down on one knee at Flutters Bingo in College Street, Rushden, and popped the question.
Mr Kalidoski, who lives with Miss Wise in High Street, Higham Ferrers, said: “I think it went quite well – we have three young children together and we’re very happy in our relationship, so I wasn’t expecting her to say no. It was a bit spontaneous, I thought it would be a nice thing to do.”
To Mr Kalidoski’s relief, Miss Wise said yes and regulars at the bingo hall, who had been stunned into silence, broke into a round of applause. Staff brought the happy couple a bottle of Champagne and a bouquet of flowers.
They were both brought up in Northamptonshire, with Mr Kalidoski living in Rushden and Miss Wise hailing from nearby Stanwick. Despite both living abroad for some time they returned to their county roots, where they met for the first time.
The bingo hall was not of special significance to their relationship, though it does hold emotional ties for Mr Kalidoski.
He said: “I used to work here as a bingo caller part-time after school or in the evening about 25 years ago. When I was four years old I came to watch Bambi here but had to be escorted out after Bambi’s mother died – I was inconsolable.
“Our children are all under five so we’re not in the position where we can go and fly off somewhere romantic very easily.
“I thought doing it up the Eiffel Tower or the Empire State Building might have been a bit cliche.
“Before tonight we hadn’t gone to a game of bingo in about 10 years.”
Incredibly, during the game immediately before the proposal, Miss Wise had won £3 for clearing two lines and a further £10 for a full house.
She said: “It’s a bit of a shock but I’d expect nothing less from Steve.
“The real highlight of the night for me was a line then a full house, though.”