- Charles and Beverley Aldridge left stunned when they learned they won £25,000
- Couple worked together to solve Daily Mail’s murder mystery competition
- Now pair are thinking of going on holiday to America and want to buy a dog
It was the perfect surprise addition to a week that was already going to be special.
For as Charles and Beverley Aldridge prepared to mark their 43rd wedding anniversary with a celebration meal, they learned they had won £25,000 in the Daily Mail’s murder mystery competition.
So now the newly-retired couple are organising a holiday to America as a special treat.
They became the fourth and final winners of the competition but nearly missed the phone call on Saturday informing them of their win.
For as Charles and Beverley Aldridge prepared to mark their 43rd wedding anniversary with a celebration meal, they learned they had won £25,000 in the Daily Mail’s murder mystery competition
Mr Aldridge, 67, said: ‘We got a call just past 12 o’clock. We had just got back from shopping, so if we had been delayed in traffic then we would have missed out.
‘It’s fantastic. It’s our 43rd anniversary this week so we’ll use some of the money on a trip to the US. We will probably go to Florida or Sacramento.’
It was fourth time lucky for the couple from Norwich, who had entered each of the contests.
After they found out about their £25,000 win, Mr and Mrs Aldridge went ahead with their planned celebration – a hotel stay and dinner at Delia Smith’s restaurant in Norwich.
But the couple, whose anniversary is on Thursday, have not told their four children and six grandchildren that they have won the competition.
‘We’re going to tell them to buy the Mail on Monday and let them see the picture,’ Mr Aldridge said. ‘We’re very excited about that.’
The couple are yet to decide what to do with the rest of the money but are thinking about buying a West Highland terrier.
Mr Aldridge, a former civil servant said: ‘We used to have a dog, but it died and my wife was working as a school matron at the time and did not have the time to train another one.’
In last week’s murder mystery competition, readers had to solve the murder of ‘white witch’ Penelope Barber at a fancy dress Christmas party.
Inspector Morris and PC Briggs questioned the guests, who were dressed as Father Christmas, Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Admiral Nelson and Winston Churchill.
As they attempted to solve the case, the policemen experienced a series of peculiar dreams, which hinted at the identity of the killer.
Inspector Morris saw a train with smoke coming out in the shape of a question mark, prisoners bashing rocks and a wooden heart. PC Briggs also experienced the ghostly reveries, seeing a four-leafed clover, a strangely blue Christmas tree and a bloodhound.
The dreams, which were linked to Elvis Presley songs, revealed the killer was Dr Timothy Mackie, who had dressed up as the singer, dubbed the King of Rock’n’Roll, for the party.
The detectives found that the doctor was being blackmailed by Mrs Barber over his addiction to cocaine.
The strange visions corresponded to the Elvis Presley hits Mystery Train, Jailhouse Rock, Wooden Heart, Good Luck Charm, Blue Christmas and Hound Dog.
Although the dreams had been intended as the clues leading readers to the killer, Mr Aldridge said he guessed the culprit just by looking at the picture of the murder scene in last Saturday’s Mail.
‘The key was in the original photograph of the murder scene,’ he said. ‘She was watching a scene from the film The King And I – and obviously Elvis was known as the King.’