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Is this the luckiest bingo hall in Norfolk? Celebrations after two £50k wins in four months

PUBLISHED: 17:38 18 November 2019 | UPDATED: 08:49 19 November 2019

Mecca Bingo manager Janette McCracken, second right, and her team, from left, Alison Baker, Lee Chesters, and Hazel Dean, celebrate having two £50,000 winners at the Aylsham Road venue. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Mecca Bingo manager Janette McCracken, second right, and her team, from left, Alison Baker, Lee Chesters, and Hazel Dean, celebrate having two £50,000 winners at the Aylsham Road venue. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2019

Could this Mecca Bingo in Norwich be the luckiest bingo hall in the county?

Mecca Bingo manager Janette McCracken celebrates having two £50,000 winners at the Aylsham Road venue. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYMecca Bingo manager Janette McCracken celebrates having two £50,000 winners at the Aylsham Road venue. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

With two wins of £50,000 within four months of each other, Aylsham Road branch manager Janette McCracken said she "would hope so".

The business, which has been a Norwich favourite since 1988, attracts halls full of 800 people on busy evenings.

It's always bustling at the venue, but Mrs McCracken said there had definitely been a buzz in the hall since the two big wins.

"There's a feeling of 'it could have been me'," she said. "Everyone's pleased for the winners."

Mecca Bingo manager Janette McCracken, second right, and her team, from left, Alison Baker, Lee Chesters, and Hazel Dean, celebrate having two £50,000 winners at the Aylsham Road venue. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYMecca Bingo manager Janette McCracken, second right, and her team, from left, Alison Baker, Lee Chesters, and Hazel Dean, celebrate having two £50,000 winners at the Aylsham Road venue. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

And some are saying that main-stage caller Ivan Winser has a special touch too, as he was on duty both times the impressive payouts were made.

Mrs McCracken said she hopes the club is now onto a permanent winning streak and added: "You could win £50,000 on the national game any day, it's always possible."

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These are not the only success stories reported by the Aylsham Road hall, where other players have recently bagged sums of £15,000 to £18,000 on the Table Top Bingo and thousands are given away just in jackpots.

Mecca Bingo manager Janette McCracken, second right, and her team, from left, Alison Baker, Lee Chesters, and Hazel Dean, celebrate having two £50,000 winners at the Aylsham Road venue. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYMecca Bingo manager Janette McCracken, second right, and her team, from left, Alison Baker, Lee Chesters, and Hazel Dean, celebrate having two £50,000 winners at the Aylsham Road venue. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

But the two wins of £50,000 so close together are a particular coup.

Those attracted to daily sessions "come from all walks of life" according to the team on site.

They said: "People come because they're having a hen party or because it's their Christmas party. We have a very way out bingo session called Bonkers Bingo coming up, which is followed by a chance to get dancing to DJ Ultrabeat."

The number of bingo halls has declined by more than half since the 1980s, when there were an estimated 1,600 across the UK, according to topratedbingosites.co.uk

The venue has weathered the storm over the years by doing things a bit differently.

Mrs McCracken said: "For example, we have a lounge where people can make noise if they want to and we offer entertainment, too."

With around 300 new customers coming to the hall each week and 10,000 Facebook followers, Aylsham Road Mecca Bingo has an impressive record as a destination venue, drawing crowds from around the region and beyond.

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