A TEACHER is looking forward to her dream wedding after her fiancé hit a £225,000 jackpot playing poker.
Emma Rodham said she was “the happiest girl in the world” after Ian Simpson’s proposal.
The 27-year-old got the shock of her life when her partner of 18 months dropped down on one knee moments after he won the Irish Open poker tournament.
The teacher-turned-professional-gambler beat off competition from around the world to claim the prize money from the Paddy Power tournament.
“I knew nothing about it at all,” said Emma, of Fatfield.
“He had taken my best friend and his mum ring shopping, and said he planned to propose whether he lost or won.
“He told all the organisers about it so they knew it would happen.
“Then he won and he proposed to me straight after, I’m just ecstatic.”
Ian, 26, a former teacher at Bedlington High School, from Northumberland, was sponsored by Paddy Power to play in the Soul Survivor poker competition, the final of which took place in Dublin on Tuesday.
He had played games around the world including in Las Vegas and the Bahamas.
“You don’t meet many professional gamblers,” said Emma, a maths and chemistry teacher who is due to start working at Wellfield Community School, Wingate.
“He started playing when he was five and his dad taught him, but only started playing professionally last year. I am really proud of him, and so are all of his family.”
Ian, who is thinking about returning to teaching, said: “I miss it because I love being in the classroom, but I’m not sure what I want to do.
“I would like to continue teaching in some way, maybe doing relief or voluntary work, but Paddy Power have talked about a continuing deal. We’ll see. We have enough to think about at the moment planning the wedding.
Emma said the couple can’t wait to get married. “We won’t hang around too long, we’re starting to look at dates and venues. It has all been such a surprise and a whirlwind. It’s amazing.”