THE winners of the Adver’s wedding competition were overwhelmed when they won with more than a third of the 35,000 votes. Clare Hollocks and Lee McGlone beat nearly 90 other couples to the Adver’s sought-after £10,000 prize, to include a wedding at the Marriott Hotel and a £1,000 wedding dress.

The pair, both 27, were all smiles after the announcement was made at the hotel in Old Town yesterday afternoon, as the other couples gathered round to congratulate them. “We can’t believe it, it still hasn’t sunk in,” Clare, a manager at Primark, said.

“When they read our names out, I was completely overwhelmed and it was so surreal. We’ve been together for five years and got engaged a year-and-a-half ago so it’s just perfect.”

The couple met when Lee was a doorman at a club in the town centre and Clare, who was on a night out, said it was love at first sight.

Lee, who now drives a digger, said he was delighted that the pair, who live together in Northern Road, can now get on with planning the rest of the wedding.

He said: “We didn’t want to get carried away with the competition so we haven’t planned anything yet. We didn’t want to be disappointed if we didn’t win. “It’s amazing to win with so many votes and the prize is fantastic. The venue and everything is just brilliant.”

Clare said she could not wait to tell her family, who are from Swansea, south Wales.

She said: “I have texted them and I can’t wait to speak to them properly, I’ll probably be in tears.” Angie Blackford, senior newspaper sales executive for the Adver, said she was delighted by the number of entries and votes for the couples.

She said: “This is the first time we’ve run it for a while – the last one was seven years ago – so to get that many votes is brilliant. “I’m really pleased with how it went and the couples who didn’t win were good about it and congratulated them. The winners themselves got 34 per cent of the vote.”

Adam Flint, general manager of the hotel, said: “It was quite emotional when they announced the winners. I’m really delighted for them and also with the turnout at the fayre. “There was an excellent response to the competition. We did not expect 35,000 votes and we said at the beginning we would be happy with 50 entrants but we had 90.”