Couple Spend Life Savings To Dine With Neil Diamond

Most fans would call the chance to spend some quality, up close and personal time with their favorite artist a priceless experience. Not all music lovers would mean it literally. For Kevin and Julie Fitzpatrick, an invitation to attend a private Christmas party at Neil Diamond’s house was worth handing over £27,000 – the British couple’s life savings.

Although £27,000 (US $39,776.08) may seem like a crazy amount of cash, the good news is that it’s going to a good cause. The not-so-good news is the singer-songwriter won’t let just anyone with an extra £27,000 (US $39,776.08) come over for dinner.

Kevin Fitzpatrick won the chance to attend Diamond’s exclusive party by placing the winning bid in a Children in Need auction on BBC Radio 2. Children in Need is a British charity that helps disadvantaged children in the U.K, raising funds to assist children with physical disabilities, kids living in poverty and those suffering from distress, abuse or neglect.

The self-employed chauffeur and grandfather made an initial bid of £5,000 (US $7,365.99) and continued bidding until he locked in the grand prize with the winning bid.

“I don’t know what I was thinking to be honest,” Kevin Fitzpatrick said, according to the Lancashire Evening Post. “I knew in the back of my mind I couldn’t go above £30,000, but to be honest I didn’t think it was going to get as high as it did. I thought someone would jump in with £35,000 and that would be it.”

Photo: Greg Allen/
NBC’s "Today" show, Rockefeller Plaza, New York.

Julie Fitzpartick, a retired landlord, had no idea what her husband was up to.

“I was at work and she didn’t know,” Kevin Fitzpatrick said, according to the Lancashire Evening Post. “I phoned her up and told her and she ended up in tears. It was a bit of both (emotions). It was partly because I had spent all our savings. But we talked it out and she is really looking forward to going now.”

She told the Daily Mail that after hearing that her husband had spent their savings “the first thing I did was tell him to retract the bid!

“But when I realized this was a once-in-a-lifetime trip to have dinner with Neil Diamond at his home – and that our savings were going to such a good cause – I thought we should just go with the flow. ‘I cannot imagine what the party is going to be like, or who I might meet there – but as a life-long Neil Diamond fan I can tell you this is the best Christmas present I’ve ever had.’

Diamond’s Christmas party takes place Dec. 19 at the singer’s home in Malibu, Calif.

Click here for the Daily Mail article.

Click here for the Lancashire Evening Post article.