Dream start to marriage after TV windfall
CHAMPAGNE flowed twice when a young bride won €32,000 on her wedding day in a TV gameshow, without even being there.
Mary Hamdam (nee O'Sullivan) joined new husband Eoin and 180 guests around two large screens at their wedding reception as a friend played for her on 'Winning Streak'.
"We had a champagne reception for the wedding and we had more when the TV programme was over," the 34-year-old told the Irish Independent last night.
Mary exchanged vows with her new husband Eoin at St Pius X Church in Moville, Co Donegal, on Saturday.
But all celebrations at the Redcastle Hotel were put on hold at 8.30pm as friend Ciara Ni Chleirigh played the TV gameshow for her.
"We pulled up the chairs and the hotel put up two large screens. It was like getting ready to watch a football match," laughed Mary.
Even though the show is recorded, Mary and Eoin had sworn Ciara to secrecy.
"We didn't want to spoil it," said Mary, a special needs assistant who lives in Blackrock but who is originally from Shroove, a few miles from Moville.
"We told Ciara not to text or call so that when we sat down with all our guests to watch it, we hadn't a clue what the outcome would be."
Ciara didn't get to spin the wheel, but she did scoop up €32,700 for the newly-wed couple.
"We've a bit of extra money now for the honeymoon in Budapest," said Mary, who flies out tomorrow with Eoin, a native of Killyclogher, Co Tyrone.
"It's a great start for us as a married couple. We're renting at the moment so the winnings will go towards getting our first house."
Husband Eoin declared: "Sure, we couldn't have got off to a better start."