A Workington man said he contemplated suicide after losing his £265,000 win on online bingo in six months.

The Mirror newspaper reported that Stephen Milnes, 48, of Workington, won the jackpot after placing a £3 bet on Major Millions Dream Bingo days after losing his job in March.

The jobless stove fitter told the Mirror he used part of the money to take his son Andrew, 23, on a £2,000 holiday, he gave £10,000 to a family member, bought a £7,000 Peugeot for his parents and a second-hand car for sister Nicola, 45.

Despite friends advising him to invest the rest of the remaining cash on a house, the divorced father-of-two reportedly decided to try to win more, placing bets of up to £20,000 using his mobile phone.

He told the Mirror that when he realised he was £1,265 overdrawn he contemplated suicide.

Mr Milnes said: “If you look at my bank account there were losses of £70,000 a week.

“I had a bad case of depression and I was getting pop-ups on the phone and seeing things on the TV which got me playing for higher stakes.

“I was losing up to £20,000 a day. Ted Bingo sent e-mails asking if I wanted to continue playing but did not stop me until all the money was gone.”

By September he had lost around £150,000 on Ted Bingo machines and £100,000 on other slot sites.

On September 29, when just £6,340 remained, they emailed: “It is important for us to verify that the current level of gaming on your account continues to be acceptable to you.”

Mr Milnes, who feels his account should have been frozen earlier, said the shame of losing had been the worst part.

His father Brian, 73, eventually managed to get into his son’s flat and save him.

Mr Milnes said: “There was a knock on the door and I saw the silhouette of my father. I told him ‘Dad – I’ve lost over quarter of a million pounds.’”

Ted Bingo is owned by Daub Alderney, a subsidiary of London-based Stride Gaming.

A spokesman there said: “We operate responsible gambling policies and procedures.”

Mr Milnes agreed to counselling and is now warning of the dangers of online gambling.