Two best friend bingo players, who have split their bingo wins for years now have parted ways, taking their dispute to court after one refused to split a jackpot worth £10,000.
Eighty-three-year-old Muriel Harrison was so enraged when best friend and bingo partner Sandra Fowler-McAllister declined to share the jackpot 50/50 that she took the claim to the Nottingham County Court where she is suing Fowler-McAllister for her £5,000 share plus interests and court costs.
While the courts ruled in favor of Fowler-McAllister and denied Harrison her fair share, she has promised to carry on her fight.
Here’s what happened: Harrison claims the two BFFs had a verbal agreement to split the winnings prior to Fowler-McAllister’s bingo hit at Gala Bingo in Nottingham back in March on the High 5 pumper pot.
Harrison said, “She told me, ‘I don’t feel I can give you half.’ I said, ‘What do you mean?’ And she said, ‘As you know I need the money more than you, you have got your own property.’”
Fowler-McAllister denied Harrison’s argument in court, claiming that she offered 20%. She reportedly told the court: “You know that the High 5 is not an in-house game, it belongs to the country. It’s a one-in-a-million chance. We never had any agreement if we won a large sum of money or if we would share. A share in her mind was 50%, but we never made any agreement. I’ve never ever said she couldn’t have a share. It was because it wasn’t 50% she wouldn’t accept it.”
The case was ultimately dismissed when Judge Francis Reeson suggested the two ladies had an ad-hoc agreement—one that only worked when it suited them. Reeson said, “Mrs. Harrison says this is a matter of principle. As a matter of law there has been an agreement and both parties have to be in agreement what the agreement is.”
He made the point that both of the women had put forth a point of view, but it did not mean that either were lying. Harrison has plans to appeal the decision.
The Gala Bingo chain houses more than 175 bingo halls in the UK alone. A spokesman for the chain said, “I imagine with these ladies agreements it only ever becomes a problem when somebody wins a substantial amount. The last thing we want to see is friends fall out over a game of bingo, and I hope that both Muriel and Sandra come back to Gala soon as friends.”