A BLACK Cats fan has netted £20,000 on TV’s Deal or No Deal – but first had to tackle some taunts about arch rivals Newcastle.
Gary Johnson walked away with the prize after being teased by the Banker – who controls the show’s prize money – about his club’s 5-1 derby day defeat.
The 26-year-old, who lives in Southwick, was given the opening offer of a Newcastle shirt from the Banker, who is infamous for taunting the show’s contestants.
The mortgage advisor has been a Sunderland season ticket holder since he was six and says that although the Banker wound him up, he got the last laugh.
He said: “He was massively winding me up and I couldn’t believe it when he offered me the shirt. Then later on when he said his offer was football related I knew exactly what he was going to say.”
Gary was then offered £5,151 in jest of the final score of the Newcastle Sunderland derby game on October 31 last year.
He said: “There’s no way I could have took that offer. I’d never have heard the end of it if I had. I’d forever be the Sunderland fan who took £5,151 from the Banker.
“If it had been an offer of £10,000 I probably would have taken it so I’m glad he had his little joke, but I got the last laugh when I walked out with £20,000.
“The only thing is, I don’t think I’ll be able to show my face on Tyneside again.”
Gary, who lives with fiancee Kim Davis, 24, auditioned for the Channel 4 show, hosted by Noel Edmonds, after a night out on the town.
He said: “I’d got back from a night out and was a bit drunk and I was sat watching it with Kim and told her that I could do better than the people that were on, so I went on the internet and applied.
“I got a phone call a few months later asking to go for an audition at The Marriott hotel in Newcastle.
“There were 400 people at the audition and only 10 of us went through to the show. I’m really pleased with the money I’ve come out with. I’d gone there hoping for £20,000.
“I’ve had a bit stick from people about the show but I’m happy with it. I didn’t go in with any tactics, I just wanted to do it randomly because the boxes are random.
“All I really did was keep number 13 until near the end because it has a lot of significance to me. I got engaged to Kim on the September 13 two years ago, and a couple of other things have made the number stick with me.”
Gary celebrated his win by going on holiday with Kim to Las Vegas, where they got engaged in 2009, putting a deposit down on his new home and paying off all of his furniture.
He said: “£20,000 isn’t a huge sum of money to some people but it’s done me all right.”
Since the show, a Facebook group called, “Offering a Mackem £5,151 cos you’re a top Geordie Banker” has been set up in jest of Gary’s offer.
He said: “I think it’s hilarious.It doesn’t bother me at all, I just think it’s funny.
“I was away in Vegas and one of my mates rang me up to told me and I couldn’t believe someone had started a group about me.”