Suffolk woman enjoys holiday with jilted groom-to-be after raffle win
- Credit: Archant
A Suffolk woman has enjoyed a two-week holiday of a lifetime – after she won a raffle for the ticket held by a jilted groom-to-be.
Kelly Wood, from Carlton Colville, enjoyed two weeks in the Dominican Republic after becoming the beneficiary of a stranger being dumped just before his Valentine’s Day wedding.
The 36-year-old marine travel consultant bid for the trip after hearing John Whitbread tell his story on ITV’s Good Morning Britain.
Mr Whitbread, 32, from Leicestershire, emphasised the trip was not about “romance” but just “friendship” as he had just come out of a relationship.
Miss Wood initially put a bid in for the ticket on eBay of £2,500 but when that was topped by one of £8,000 she thought her chances were over.
The bid turned out to be fake, however, which made him decide to create a raffle draw instead. Each ticket cost £10 and the proceeds went to charity.
“I bought five tickets for myself but then my family and friends started buying tickets in my name”, Miss Wood said.
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“I think he sold about 180 tickets and he pulled four numbers out of the bowl as a backup. It was almost like fate as my number came out three times. I was completely blown away.” Despite seeing pictures of each other and talking over the phone, the first time they met in person was filmed live on Good Morning Britain.
“We had to keep it a secret as they wanted us to meet live on the day at Manchester airport.
“I travelled up the night before and they kept us both apart.
“It was so nerve-wracking my hands were shaking. I had obviously seen pictures so I knew what he looked like.
“I had been single for ages, I had no ties and I had not been on a holiday for eight years.”
The trip included swimming with dolphins and travelling to a secluded island by speedboat.
However, there was no budding romance with the pair sleeping in single beds and deciding it was best if they were just friends.
Miss Wood said: “He was meant to be flying out as a married man and something like a break-up is tough on someone, so I didn’t really ask about it. We are happy to be friends and we will keep in contact.”
Mr Whitbread said it was a “whirlwind adventure” but enjoyed making a “great friend.”