Melissa Curry, an air stewardess, will be collecting a £1,500 Bonus for Valentine's Day after placing a bet 10 years ago that she would be marrying her new boyfriend and fellow flight attendant, Matt Dockray.
Melissa, 37, has been dating Matt, 35, for a few months when she made that romantic bet. Although the bookmaker for William Hill gave the odds to Melissa as 25/1, he did not really think she had any chance of winning so he doubled the odds to 50/1 if they were still married 10 years later.
Melissa placed the £30 wager to give her then boyfriend, Matt, an unusual Valentine's Day gift. However, the couple are still together after getting married in Las Vegas ten years later, thus giving them the win over the bet.
This Sunday, Melissa will be opening the frame that contains the faded bet slip made 10 years ago so she can claim her winnings.
Both couples work for an airline company and now have a four-year-old daughter, Eleanor.
"I was trying to think of something original to get Matt for a Valentine's Day present - let's be honest, a guy doesn't really want flowers and chocolates, " Melissa said in an interview. "Matt's really into betting so I approached the bookmakers and asked them what odds they would give me on us getting married. We had only been together for a few months at that stage, so the bookies were not that confident it would work out. In fact, they said they would double the odds if we were still married in 10 years. That shows what they thought of our chances. But I knew pretty early on that Matt was the man I was going to marry, we'd already talked about it."
The couple got married at the Mandalay Bay Resort accompanied by twenty of their important friends and family.
"I'd never wanted a church wedding, but despite getting married in Vegas it was still a very traditional ceremony. Although Matt's parents did get their wedding vows renewed by an Elvis impersonator the following day," said Melissa.
Melissa and Matt kept the betting slip in their home inside a frame. This Sunday, however, both of them will be taking it out of the home to collect their £1,500 winning.
Melissa said: "Matt thought it was a great Valentine's Day gift, he liked the fact it was such a quirky gift. Obviously its even better now that it has paid out. His present to me that year was a little bit more conventional, he got a me a chocolate fondue set. It was never about the money though, I just thought it was a fun thing to get Matt as a present. I've continued the tradition of getting Matt some rather unusual Valentine's Day gifts over the years. Several years ago I bought him a shisha pipe. Perhaps I should find out what the odds are over whether we are still married in another ten years."
Joe Crilly, a spokesperson for William Hill, said: "In 30 years of offering special wagers, this was one of the most unique we have ever accepted.
"With no discernible form to go by we had no way of knowing whether Melissa and Matt would last the distance. They clearly have, and given that marriage these days is not necessarily for life, we will certainly not begrudge paying out."