A shopping spree has ended up costing one bingo player much more than she bargained for after the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) intervened and decided to smite Ms Jones with a single, yet deadly strike – by suspending the 63-year old grandmother’s benefit payments…
You Win Some – You Lose Some More…
What was probably the first and likely the last shopping spree of her life, is about to turn into a nightmare for Jean Jones, the (un)lucky winner of £22,500 bingo jackpot. Not long ago, Ms Jones visited Castle Bingo Club in Barnes Hill, hoping to be one of the few lucky players who would get to yell out “BINGO”.
As it turned out, that’s precisely what happened and Jean ended the session with a life-changing cash prize, leaving the local bingo hall in a blaze of glory. Upon collecting the winnings, Ms Jones did exactly what most of us would do under the circumstances – she went on a shopping spree, probably the first one of her life. Or, at least, the first that was extravagant enough for her not to worry about every single penny.
Celebrating her stroke of luck, Jones decided to visit Florida, where a large chunk of money was spent on gifts for her family members. She also decided to treat herself with a comfy new chair to relieve her from some of the pain caused by arthritis. All fine and dandy until DWP caught the wind of Ms Jones’s newfound wealth and decided to take actions against such a preposterous act of spending your own money.
With Ms Jones, the phrase “stealth wealth” has fallen on deaf ears and she clearly made no attempt to keep a low profile. What she did not know is that her newly acquired spending habits, no matter how short-term they may have been, would end up costing her dearly in the long run…
Although the money was undoubtedly hers, it automatically placed her outside the category of claimants who are entitled to receive the benefit checks. As a result, DWP has taken swift actions to make sure all future benefit payments are aborted.
DWP vs Squandering
After the DWP accused Ms Jones of sin as grave as money squandering, the future of her finances is under a question mark. As it seems, a day of reckless spending may now turn into years of misfortune for Jones, who is in danger of losing her home and the only income she had.
According to the Department for Work and Pensions, the only way around this is for Ms Jones to reapply for the benefits. At the moment, she is living on £229 personal independence monthly payments and her Universal Credit application has been rejected.
The stress of losing her income was too much for Ms Jones, who stated that most of the money went on essentials, such as furniture for her home that she was not able to afford prior to winning the jackpot.
“I bought a recliner chair for my health, as I have arthritis in my legs. I bought new stuff for the house, things I’ve never been able to replace as I haven’t had the money.” Jean also denies the DWP’s claims that she stashed away half of the money at her niece’s, claiming that she is virtually on a brink of starvation. She also maintains that the trip to Florida was the only holiday she had in years and that the DWP was provided with the list of everything she purchased.
“It’s been 7 months, I just want my benefits back”, says Jones, however, the DWP will have the last word. “If we believe a person has deliberately spent savings in order to be able to get more benefits, their claim might be denied”, stated a DWP spokesman.
Stack of Bingo Cards