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Charles Dry and Pramchit Martinson accept their ceremonial check for $50,000 at Yokosuka's Morale Welfare and Recreation Monster Bingo Game, Sunday Oct. 5, 2003. More than $110,000 in cash prizes were awarded Sunday, at Yokosuka Naval Base's Thew Gym. Dry and Martinson will each get $25,000 before taxes.
Charles Dry and Pramchit Martinson accept their ceremonial check for $50,000 at Yokosuka's Morale Welfare and Recreation Monster Bingo Game, Sunday Oct. 5, 2003. More than $110,000 in cash prizes were awarded Sunday, at Yokosuka Naval Base's Thew Gym. Dry and Martinson will each get $25,000 before taxes. (Jim O'Donnell / S&S)

YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — Yokosuka Naval Base may not have quite the glamor of Monte Carlo or the glitz of Las Vegas, but it held its own Sunday in at least one mark of a gambling mecca: The size of the pot.

More than $110,000 in prize money was distributed during Monster Bingo at Berkey Field’s Thew Gym — including a $50,000 grand prize, split by Pramchit Martinson, a civilian from Yokota Air Base and Petty Officer 2nd Class Charles Dry, a Yokosuka postal clerk.

“That’s it! I’m debt free with some change in my pocket,” said the exuberant Dry. “This is the first time I’ve ever won anything in my entire life.”

“Oh my God,” said Martinson, still shaking as other, less-fortunate players quickly headed for their cars. “I’ve been coming to these Monster Bingo games for two years and I’ve never won anything. I am just so happy.”

The two were among more than 800 from across the Kanto plain who converged on the naval base to compete in the contest, sponsored by Yokosuka’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation department. Prizes for the 17 games played ranged from $1,000 to the final game’s grand prize jackpot.

The lucky number that netted Dry and Martinson $25,000 each: I-26.

“This is going to pay off all my bills and allow me to buy my motorcycle,” Dry said.

“If my wife lets me,” he added quickly.

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