May 11, 2022

Sunderland’s father wins life-changing sum in casino poker game while celebrating his late father’s birthday

Michael Wharton, from Tunstall, won the life-changing prize on December 17 after taking part in a poker tournament at Grosvenor Casino in Sunderland as he celebrated the birthday of his late father, Michael Wharton Snr.

The 51-year-old competed in a poker tournament alongside his son, Mikey, but was eliminated early but decided to take part in the casino’s National Bad Beat Jackpot.

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£114,000 winner Mickey Wharton (right) celebrates his life-changing victory with Grosvenor Casino general manager Mark Hunter.

But now a delighted Michael has revealed what he’s going to do with the money.

He said: “We were celebrating my father’s birthday, who died aged 61 in 2009, when I got a call from my son inviting me to the Grosvenor casino to play a poker tournament.

“I wasn’t sure but my mum Kathleen said maybe dad would give me some luck and I’m so glad I listened to her.

“When we first saw the hand I had, we didn’t really know we would have a chance of winning the jackpot, so I just couldn’t believe it when they told me I had actually won £114,000.”.

Mickey was away celebrating his late father’s birthday when he won the amount that changed his life.

“It wasn’t until the manager came and told us they should check it was a legit hand and even then we didn’t know how much I had won.

“I’m going to buy a house with the winnings, but first I’m going to celebrate with a family trip to Las Vegas and Mexico – we’re just going to enjoy the money.”

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On the same night, Adam Smith, also from Sunderland, took home £57,000 in winnings after beating Mickey with a straight flush.

Michael Wharton with his son Mikey.

Mark Hunter, General Manager of Grosvenor Casino Sunderland, congratulated them both.

He said: “We are thrilled for Mickey and Adam who ended 2021 in the best possible way and won a life-changing sum of money.

“We are proud that this historic victory took place in our casino, and we look forward to more to come.”

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