If your heart is cold and gray this Valentine’s Day, there’s a story of second-act romance that will put a rom-com meet-cute to shame. It started in the unlikeliest of places, a VIP Facebook group for players of Caesars Slots, a top social gaming app. Our leads? Donna, a widow from Ontario who had been married for 32 years, and Gary, recently single and living in Halifax.
Donna made the first move, liking Gary’s posts and low-key commenting before sliding into his DMs: “Thanks for all the positive messages you post.” Clearly, the woman had game in more ways than one. Donna recalls, “It was the first time in my life to reach out to a guy. I never do that. It’s not in my personality. But I felt something. I thought he was the sweetest guy ever. And I felt like I wanted to get to know him.” The conversation spilled from Facebook messages to texts until after a year – a full year – they took the plunge into video chats, talking late into the night about music, politics, and Donna’s cat.
After another year – two full calendar years after meeting on Facebook, Gary finally made his move, suggesting they meet. Donna was surprised, asking, “You’d come here? Halfway across the country? Just to meet me?” And Gary’s you-couldn’t-script-it-better-if-you-tried reply? “Honey, I’d fly halfway around the world to meet you!” Did you melt? We melted. And that was it. Gary was flying out to meet Donna for a two-week first date. There was only one rule: no expectations. They’d meet as friends and see where the time led them. Before the weeks were up, they’d planned a second trip. It was on this second trip, two years and one gaming app later, that Donna and Gary’s relationship took a slot-spin for the romantic.
Donna’s heart was his: “I never thought I’d find love again. And then Gary found me.” But Gary is quick to contradict her, “I’m the lucky one.” He must be talking about love, since Donna has more virtual app coins than Gary does.
Today, our OTP (One True Pair) Donna and Gary live together in Ontario, snuggling on the couch and still playing Caesars Slots. Now that’s what we call a jackpot.