A WOMAN has been reunited with a long-lost relative after they ending up playing internet bingo against each other - from across the world.
After six years apart, Ellesmere Port resident Paula Court, 48, had lost all hope of making contact with her former sister-in-law Jenny Rochester, 33.
But when she logged on to internet game Think Bingo, she got chatting to a fellow competitor 12,000 miles apart - and the pair made the amazing discovery.
The women met nearly 30 years ago when Paula fell in love with Jenny's big brother Mike in the Port, where they all lived. They became firm friends and regularly went to the local bingo hall together.
But 10 years ago Jenny moved to New Zealand with her husband Kevin, where she works as a fleet management specialist. And, after Paula's marriage broke down, the pals lost contact.
Paula, who still lives in the Port, said: 'I lost Jenny's e-mail address and, as I wasn't with Mike, I had no way of getting in contact with her. I missed Jenny so much - she was like my little sister.
'Then a few weeks ago - 10 years since Jenny had left and six years since we'd last had contact - I visited ThinkBingo.com to play bingo online. I noticed one name - 'jenroc', which often appeared on the site.
'I didn't twig at the time that it was short for Jenny Rochester, but I did notice she was good. In fact, she'd just won, so I typed a short message to congratulate her.
'When she typed back that her name was Jenny and she was playing from her home in Auckland, New Zealand, I froze. I couldn't believe it was her!'
She added: 'I'm so glad Jenny decided to start playing again when she did - because of Think Bingo I've found my long-lost sister-in-law and got my playing partner back.'
A spokesman for Think Bingo said: 'Making friends and chatting is a huge part of playing Think Bingo. But the chances of meeting like this are millions to one - these ladies hit the jackpot.'