Burnley gameshow winner Roy Haythornthwaite dealt himself a £100,000 deal of the day in front of a TV audience of millions.
Retired upholsterer Roy had the nation on the edge of their seats in his nailbiting appearance on Noel Edmonds’ Deal Or No Deal on Monday. He very nearly became the first man in the show’s eight-year history to take the top prize of £250,000 and was only the third man ever to pick up £100,000.
Host Noel Edmonds said Roy’s game had been one of the most emotional ever. And the huge win was all the more amazing because he lost two of the biggest amounts in the game in the first round but hung on determinedly. He refused six offers ranging from £10,400 to £31,000 before saying “deal” to the £100,000 offer – much to the relief of wife Barbara who was in the audience and at one point told him “I can’t take any more”.
Speaking about the show this week he said it had been an incredible two and a half weeks staying at a hotel in Bristol and bonding with the other contestants, some of whom have become friends for life. He won the hearts of everyone with his fun antics in the days leading up to his game and when it came he took along a 100-year-old penny which he presented to a young woman who opened the box containing 1p and which she said she would treasure. They have since become firm friends.
He also had everyone in tears when he told Noel Edmonds the story of a lead aeroplane which his grandfather made for him during the war, but he lost.
60 years later when visiting his grandfather’s old home in Pollard Row, Fence, the householder had just unearthed the plane in his garden and gave it back to him.
Back home in Burnley, Roy (74), who is a member of Burnley Mountaineering and Fellwalking Club, said he had bought a new climing rope with his winnings, along with a new back door and would be doing some work on his house. He said he and Barbara, who ran their own business R. and B. Upholstery in Nelson for 34 years, are so busy with voluntary work they do for the Youth Hostel Association that they have not had time for a holiday but might go on a cruise next year.
He has received hundreds of messages of congratulation since Monday’s show when his family of four sons and eight grandchildren learned for the first time how he had fared, as he had been sworn to secrecy since it was filmed in January. “They thought I had won a few thousand pounds. They all came round to watch the show and their eyes went wider and wider as it went on and the next door neighbour ran in cheering at the end, it was really exciting. The whole experience was wonderful but also emotionally draining.
“When the Banker offered me £100,000 that was it, I was really happy. I could have gambled for £250,000 but I was happy enough and said ‘deal’. I put some money behind the bar at the hotel and we all celebrated. I’m very happy with the way it went.”