We all know playing bingo can have many benefits; meeting people, making friends, provides a fun hobby and of course, gives the possibility of winning money.
But would you be surprised to hear it can lead you to live a long life?
That’s what Ethel Denney believes, and there seems to be something behind her claim, as she’s just turned 94!
The pensioner from Yarm, North Yorkshire travels all the way to Beacon Bingo in Redcar by taxi every week to help ‘keep her brain active’. This is despite the fact that a trip one way costs £27.
She loves going to play bingo with her friends at the Beacon Bingo club on the Esplanade so much that she recently celebrated her 94th birthday in the hall. This seems to be a fitting tribute to the game she describes as being the secret to a long and happy life.
Although she hasn’t won a penny for about a year, Ethel believes playing provides the much richer reward of keeping her young.
Ethel says: “It keeps your brain active, and even at my age I play six books.”
A bingo player of 30 years, Ethel has enjoyed games at the Redcar club for the last 15 years.
Before she retired from being a supermarket manager she was still enjoying bingo games alongside her job.
She said: “I once won £2,000 about 15 years ago. But it’s a long time since I’ve won anything. My last win was about £30 a year ago.
Ethel celebrated her birthday with a meal and a “couple of sherries” at Crathorne Arms with son Keith, 70 and nephew David Shinn, whose appearance was a surprise due to travelling in from Wiltshire.
Ethel says socialising is an important factor for both her enjoyment of bingo and also for keeping her young at heart. She added: “You could stay in the house and look at four walls, but you would lose your buttons.”
The 94 year old not only loves playing bingo, but also goes out with her niece once a week, attends coffee mornings and generally gets out and about to enjoy local beauty spots and attractions.
If bingo can make Ethel look and feel so sprightly at 94, we think we’ll take a leaf out of her bingo card book and carry on playing for as long as we possibly can!