Best Friends Argue Over Big Bingo Win

Money can come between the best of friends and make them bitter enemies. Last year two sisters who shared their bingo winnings were locked in a fierce legal battle when one sister reneged on her promise to share bingo winnings. Now another bingo fueled feud is in the news. Two best friends who have always shared their bingo winnings have become bitter enemies after one refused to share a £10,000 ($15,984.94 USD) bingo jackpot. Muriel Harrison, 83 became enraged after best ‘friend’ Sandra Fowler-McAllister refused to split her big win 50-50. Harrison decided to take McAllister to court seeking £5,000 ($7,992.78 USD) plus court costs and interest.

The bitter feud started after Mrs. Harrison claimed that her friend refused to honor a verbal agreement to split bingo winnings after McAllister won the £10,000 High 5 bumper pot at Gala Bingo, Nottingham, in March of 2010. Mrs. Harrison recalled a conversation between the two which went something like this; ‘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.”

At this week’s court hearing Mrs. Fowler-McAllister disputed Harrison’s claims and said she had offered Harrison 20% of the jackpot. Fowler McAllister 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 per cent but we never made any agreement. I’ve never ever said she couldn’t have a share. It was because it wasn’t 50 per cent she wouldn’t accept it.’

The Judge dismissed Mrs. Harrison’s claim saying the two friends had an informal ad hoc agreement. Judge Francis Reeson stated, ‘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.’ The judge also said both women were expressing a point of view and neither was lying. Harrison plans to appeal the decision. A spokesman for Gala bingo weighed in and 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.’

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