A local retired librarian has spoken of her joy after picking up £24,500 in the popular Channel 4 show ‘Deal or No Deal’ on Saturday.
Hazel Philson said she had ‘no regrets’ dealing at £24,500 despite having the coveted £250,000 in her box, number 6.
She said, “Nearly £25,000 is a fortune to me, and I had watched other games where people went home with £5, absolutely heart-broken, and I didn’t want that.
“I have never been a gambler; I don’t even do the lottery, so I was just there to enjoy myself and that’s what I did.”
Ahead of the show, Hazel had no game plan, except that she was leaving box 21 to the end. “Other than that, I didn’t have a strategy. But I was flabbergasted to take out five blues in my opening round. But when I dealt I still had the £250,000, and the possibility of taking it out was too high, so despite my son counselling that ‘Fortune favours the brave’, I decided that £24,500 was enough for me.”
The first contestant from Derry to appear on the show, Hazel says she plugged our City of Culture year on various occasions, but “they cut that all out, which I am slightly disappointed at. I wanted to give our city a great shout out.”
But despite this she says the whole experience was “wonderful” and would highly recommend that others try out for a place.
She continued, “We had a great time in Bristol, where the show is filmed, and the production company Endemol were so lovely. They flew myself and my partner John over and put us up in a beautiful hotel for the duration of filming. I also met some brilliant people, including Noel.”
Hazel was quick to give Noel some banter regarding their age, as he is the same age as her, and as a result the banker gave Hazel £100 before she even opened a box!
So at the end of it all, does Hazel regret walking away early, and missing out on the big quarter of a million prize? “Not at all, you take your chances in life and you go with it. The money will help to pay my daughter’s student loan and I hope to take my partner John to the Maldives for a holiday of a lifetime. That’s enough for me.”