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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 October 2007, 14:39 GMT 15:39 UK
Bingo jackpot winner keeps cash
Bingo caller
Ms Burnett's jackpot was part of a national draw
A woman from Devon who won more than 100,000 on bingo will not have to share her winnings with friends, the Court of Appeal in London has ruled.

Tania Burnett from Plymouth won the jackpot during a night at the Gala Bingo Club in the city in January.

But friends Stacey Wilson and Abigail Stacey took Ms Burnett to court, claiming she had backed out of an agreement to split anything they won.

But Lord Justice May ruled the "casual conversation" was not binding.

The court was told the three workmates who met at the Royal Mail Data Entry Centre in Plymouth had discussed how they would split any wins of 10 pounds or more when they went to play bingo.

Legal aid

But Ms Burnett denied she had made an agreement and, after scooping 101,211 in the national draw, paid for a celebration meal for the three at a curry house.

Her friends took Ms Burnett to court and a lengthy and expensive court battle ensued. This cost the taxpayer tens of thousands of pounds as Ms Wilson and Ms Stacey had been legally aided.

Sitting with Lord Justice Chadwick and Lord Justice Moore-Bick at the Court of Appeal in London, Lord Justice May upheld the Exeter County Court ruling.

"The reality is that Miss Wilson and Miss Stacey's bare bones account of what they say was agreed scarcely stands as an agreement enforceable and binding in law," said Lord Justice May.

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