At the audition I was chosen as the only woman in a team of six. We had had a party after the finish of the Ashes series and I had been talking to Fran, the lady who set the questions who had told me that she always used the World Book Encyclopaedias as her reference and I remembered thinking at the time that I had seen a set in our local reference library. Once I knew I was going to Australia again, I went straight to the library after work for three months, reading through the World Books, making notes and then learning the notes. I knew that given the opportunity I could make some more money for my family and in any case, I didn’t find the revision a chore – in fact as far as I was concerned, it was preferable to cooking any time! This time, because I would be away for 3 weeks, I chose to pay for a ticket for my husband to come with me and we had a wonderful time in Melbourne.
I had realised from the outset that I was never going to win the series as the Australians were too good so I concentrated on buying every instant prize I could. There was a new feature called the Cash Box in which the leader in each show could bet the number of points they were in the lead to guess which one out of three boxes the cash bonus was in. I managed to guess right on two occasions, winning $A10,000 and then $A15,000 which considerably boosted my total at the end of the series. I came home with a cheque for just under £23,000 and life was just brilliant.
We put in our Right To Buy forms for our council house – we had lived there all our married life and had super neighbours – why move? - I ordered a new car for my husband and promised the Mini to my daughter. However, just a week later, my husband had a massive stroke, was in hospital for two months, lost the use of his speech and arm although he did learn to walk again. I really don’t know how I would have managed financially living on just my earnings, but now the house was bought and paid for and I had no worries about rent. I cancelled the car and used that money to have the house altered so that my husband could get about it more easily. The stroke was waiting to happen as my husband had already had two minor ones but thanks to the quiz winnings , we were able to manage. I shall never cease to be grateful to Grundy for inviting me to go to Australia as it changed my life.