Mum, 48, reveals scooping £127k jackpot became 'worst day of her life' after leading to 20 years of gambling addiction
A MUM has revealed how scooping a £127,000 jackpot became the "worst day of her life" after it lead to a 20 year gambling addiction.
Lisa Walker, 48, said her addiction started when she turned 18 and was legally able to frequent casinos near her Essex home.
Her problem then culminated before her Las Vegas wedding, when she spent the night of the nuptials fluttering away cash in the casino while her family and friends enjoyed the reception.
In 2001, aged just 29, she took home a £127,000 win during a night of gambling, and began to spiral.
She now dubs that win the "worst day of my life" and claims it lead to a "journey of despair, hopelessness, and having an awful, awful gambling addiction".
Lisa quickly blew her big win by recklessly visiting casinos, dog racing tracks and betting shops four to five times a week for around 10 hours at each go.
Now, she thinks her total losses have hit £500,000 across the two decades, with Lisa remortgaging her house three times to fund her problem.
Her breaking point was her wedding night to her third husband Gary.
She said: “We had decided to have our wedding in Las Vegas and despite 15 of my closest family friends flying over to enjoy the wedding with both me and my husband, I spent the entire night playing the slots till 6am – not leaving for a moment to enjoy their company or to enjoy the celebration."
When she returned home, Lisa got help from someone she knew at Gamblers Anonymous.
She has now registered with free tool GAMSTOP allowing her to be self-excluded from all online gambling sites.
Lisa – who counsels people struggling with gambling addiction – added: “What I have found is that women don’t feel that they can talk about their addiction, with it often being seen as a male issue.
“I have spoken with many women who don’t feel they can go to support meetings, and I find it so upsetting that somebody could feel that way, as though they can’t even seek help."
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