April 23, 2007

Norma Wandersee becomes Delano Legion's first Mega Bingo winner

By Ryan Gueningsman
Managing Editor

For someone who never really liked bingo a whole lot, Norma Wandersee of Delano has suddenly found a new love of the game.

Wandersee found herself a winner at the Delano American Legion recently, and was the Legion’s first winner since starting to participate in the Mega Bingo game, which is broadcast on closed circuit television Thursday nights. Wandersee won $1,975.50 April 12.

“I’m still kind of in shock,” Wandersee said. She said the Mega Bingo game is run with the other bingo games played at the Legion. After the game got going, she noticed she needed nine numbers out of the required 24 for a bingo.

Eventually it got down to two numbers needed, and people started to gather around Wandersee to see if she could pull off a win. After number 63 was called, she was down to one more number needed – 21.

“When they called that, the place erupted,” Wandersee said. “Everyone screamed ‘Bingo!’”

After hitting the jackpot, the Legion had to call in that it had a winner, and verify with Mega Bingo that it was legitimate. Wandersee said she filled out several forms, and is expecting the check to arrive this week.

She said she is not sure exactly what she’s going to do with the funds, but does have some ideas in mind.

“I’d like to go to Alaska, so we’ll see,” she said. Wandersee said that when her husband was alive, they took a trip to Germany, and she said she has also been to many other spots around the world.

Wandersee was 10 months old when her parents moved from Minneapolis out to Delano. Her father was originally from Jordan, and her mother from St. Michael. Her father was a pressman for the Delano Eagle newspaper.

Wandersee attended St. Peter’s Catholic School, and graduated from Delano High School.

Following that, she worked as a secretary for 34 years at Granite Works, then 11 years at Mammoth Industries, which was located in Plymouth. She retired in 1988, but that hasn’t stopped her from staying busy.

She still does a lot of work with St. Peter’s, and said she takes care of the book work for the cemeteries affiliated with the churches. Wandersee also stays active as a member of the General Federated Women’s Club.

“I keep busy,” she said with a smile.

Wandersee has one daughter, Mary DeWitte, who lives near her in Delano, three grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

“They were all pretty excited,” she said.

Unfortunately, Wandersee doesn’t think she’ll be able to make it to the next two sessions of Mega Bingo. One week she has a birthday party to attend, and the other week she has another commitment.

“They’ll think, ‘Sure, she got the money and now she runs,’” Wandersee said with a laugh. “I never cared much for bingo, but I guess I like it now a little more.”

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