The Port Arcades Turn 21

Turning 21 may not be as big a deal in the UK as it is in the US, but every birthday deserves to be marked. The Port Arcades recently marked its own 21st with a wild giveaway, to the potential tune of a staggering £21,000.

It’s a heartbreaker of a story, actually. Shoppers who spent £10 or more on the big day were given a chance to enter a Cash Grabber booth to play for their chance to go on to the Key of the Door final. Over the course of three heats, 21 finalists were made it through round one to pick out their keys. One of the 21 keys would open a big blue door.

Nick Jones from Ellesmere Port just happened to swing by the center that day, and ended up making it through to the second round. His key, lucky number 19, opened the door, giving him the chance to win the grand prize £21,000.

Presented with 100 sealed envelopes and only one pick, Nick narrowed it down to a choice between 7, the date of his son’s birth, and 77, the number his brother called out from the audience. One would prove to be the big winner, but not the right one. Envelope 7 was his pick, and the £21,000 cheque was to be found in envelope 77.

Though it wasn’t meant to be, Nick still left on a good note. His unlucky choice won him £210, a bottle of champagne and a hearty congratulations from center management. “It was all good fun,” he said. “I wasn’t expecting the open the door. In fact I couldn’t believe it when it opened.”

Marketer Michelle Pickstock added, “It was lovely to see how many people watched the final and cheered Nick on. The whole centre was willing him to pick the £21,000 envelope.” What a birthday that would have been, eh?

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