Sunderland shopper bags £1,500 prize after bumping into panto prince

The winning ticket in the Sunderland Christmas Prize Daraw being drawn by Sunderland Empitre Panto start Matt Lapinskas, in The Bridges, Sunderland on Chruistmas Eve. Matt is pictured on the phone to winner Claire Richardson.

The winning ticket in the Sunderland Christmas Prize Daraw being drawn by Sunderland Empitre Panto start Matt Lapinskas, in The Bridges, Sunderland on Chruistmas Eve. Matt is pictured on the phone to winner Claire Richardson.

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A CITY shopper bagged a top prize – just in time for Christmas.

Panto prince Matt Lapinskas, who shot to fame in Eastenders, was on hand to draw the final winner of the Advent Door contest.

The winning ticket in the Sunderland Christmas Prize Daraw being drawn by Sunderland Empitre Panto start Matt Lapinskas, in The Bridges, Sunderland on Chruistmas Eve.

The winning ticket in the Sunderland Christmas Prize Daraw being drawn by Sunderland Empitre Panto start Matt Lapinskas, in The Bridges, Sunderland on Chruistmas Eve.

As part of the initiative, the contest travelled around the city giving shoppers the chance to win daily prizes.

Shoppers could choose a key and try to open the pop-up door, with the correct key revealing a prize that could be anything from Christmas hampers to a Swarovski bracelet.

The final winner on Christmas Eve was Claire Richardson, who scooped £1,500 worth of holiday vouchers.

Run by Experience It Here! Sunderland’s Business Improvement District, working with Sunderland City Council and Sunderland Live, the contest has been taking place throughout the festive period.

The winning ticket in the Sunderland Christmas Prize Daraw being drawn by Sunderland Empitre Panto start Matt Lapinskas, in The Bridges, Sunderland on Chruistmas Eve.

The winning ticket in the Sunderland Christmas Prize Daraw being drawn by Sunderland Empitre Panto start Matt Lapinskas, in The Bridges, Sunderland on Chruistmas Eve.

Ken Dunbar, chief executive of the Sunderland BID, said, “The Advent Door has been a huge success.

“The prize draw was the icing on the cake. Not only has the initiative helped shoppers to celebrate the festive season, it has also made Sunderland a must-visit venue throughout December, which is great for our local businesses.”