USS HARRY S. TRUMAN, At Sea (NNS) -- On the way back to homeport after seven months on deployment, the Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) office on board USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) held a Big Bucks Bingo show May 30.
There were many prizes in store for the winners and with almost $50,000 in prizes, more than a handful of people walked away as winners.
"It was amazing because we had to come up with $46,650 in bingo sales in order to cover the prizes," said Omar Suner, the Fun Boss for Truman's MWR office. "We ended up selling 4,646 bingo tickets."
The money covers the top prize which was a 2007 steel blue metallic Jeep Wrangler Unlimited with a black hard top. Other prizes included a 2008 Road King Model Sea Doo water craft with all the accessories, a Sony home entertainment center which consists of a 46 inch XBR High Definition Liquid Crystal TV with a Bravia theatre system with five-disc DVD/CD disc changer and an IPOD docking station along with the $10,000 in cash prizes.
"It took until the very last 10 minutes of the last day of selling the bingo cards before we broke even on the amount needed," said Suner. "It goes to show that all the hard work that the crew does is appreciated."
With so many people buying tickets, MWR wanted to have a lot of winners on top of the 13 big winners of $1,000 and above.
"I don't know of any carriers that have given away almost $50,000 in prizes. All the prizes that I bought and saved up throughout cruise we gave out in this last big bash," said Suner.
According to Suner, the winners get to enjoy the opportunity to be one of the first groups off the ship when Truman pulls pier-side in Norfolk to claim their prizes. "We managed to get the Jeep on a flat bed tow truck and bring it on the pier along with the Sea Doo and the entertainment center," said Suner.
The top prize was the new 2007 Jeep Wrangler, and every Sailor on board was hoping that they had the winning ticket. The anticipation was high as Truman and Carrier Air Wing Three command master chiefs pulled numbers from the bingo machine over the ship's site TV system, but in the end there could be only one big winner.
"I can not believe that my bingo card was filling up so quickly," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Fuels) 3rd Class Brandon Standlee, from Air department's V-4 division. "The next thing I know, my bingo card was completely blacked out."
Sailors can appreciate MWR and all the other departments that assisted in making an event like big bucks bingo where Sailors can have the opportunity to win great gifts.
"I was driving a 1998 Chevrolet Malibu and it's a mid-size car," said Standlee. "I am very thankful that I won the Jeep because I have four kids and I know the Jeep is big enough for my family to fit comfortably."
Every Sailor on board is anticipating the moment that Truman pulls pier-side in Norfolk and the big bucks bingo helped make some lucky Sailors just that much more happy to be home from deployment.
For more news from USS Harry S. Truman, visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn75/.