Happy couple’s gamble pays off in real style!

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Happy couple’s gamble pays off in real style!

This was one gamble which really paid off for this happy couple. Paul Smith and Clare Holden, from Forest Hall, North Tyneside, thought they were just going for a flutter when they headed down to the opening of a new casino in Newcastle.

But after winning the night’s top prize - a stunning £1,000 diamond - the lovebirds went one better by turning it into an engagement ring on the spot.

Romantic Paul popped the question right there on the casino floor after winning the beautiful gem in a competition. “We just thought we’d pop in to the casino - but obviously I hit the jackpot, and walked out with Clare as my fiancée” said the 45-year-old. “I was able to give her the kind of ring she deserves, and now we’re planning a wedding for 2012.”

The couple, both civil servants, have been together for four years and had been thinking about getting married for some time. But they needed to save up to buy the ring, and Paul was waiting for the right time to get down on one knee.

When they attended the re-launch event of Circus Casino, on Forth Street, Newcastle, each guest was given a champagne flute with a “diamond” inside the stem. All of the diamonds were imitation, apart from three - which were real diamonds and worth £1,000 each. Luckily for Paul and Clare, Cupid was on their side and Clare had one of the diamonds in her glass.

“We were having a really nice evening at the casino,” said Clare, 33. “They had a jeweller at the event who was checking everyone’s glass to see if anyone had a real diamond. There were hundreds of people there, so I never even dreamt that we would win. I was so surprised when we were told we had won one of the diamonds. My legs just went to jelly and everything after that was a bit of a blur.

“I’ve never won anything like this before, and I was absolutely thrilled. I got even more excited when Paul started talking about using the diamond for my engagement ring. We’d talked about getting married before, but I didn’t think it would happen for a few more months, or maybe years. Now I’m engaged - we are so happy.”

The couple are now getting stuck into planning their big day - and haven’t ruled out a return to the casino.

Circus Casino was re-launching after undergoing a £1 million refurbishment.

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