AN ATHLONE man was over the moon after he scooped €23,000 on the National Lottery game show Winning Streak.
Oliver Flanagan from Moydrum took part in the popular show, which was aired on RTÉ television last weekend, after his uncle surprised him by putting his name on a ticket.
The TV appearance capped an exciting week for Oliver and his family as it took some time to link his name to the winning ticket after it was picked from the drum a week earlier, as the writing on the ticket was difficult to decipher. Seán bought the ticket in Sligo and as he has done for the past two years, wrote Oliver's name on it before posting it to National Lottery headquarters. He didn't tell his nephew, so he had no idea up to a few days before the show that he was the lucky recipient.
It took a call out from the National Lottery to the Athlone public last week to identify the lucky winner, after the ticket was initially identified as DJ Flanagan of Moydrum.
Oliver was thrilled by his uncle Seán's generosity. Oliver, who works in warehousing and logistics centre Flancare in Athlone, also works in farming and breeds Angus cattle, ducks, hens, geese and turkeys.
His parents Michael and Pat, sister Michelle, uncle Seán, cousin Karen, aunt Margaret, along with friends and neighbours accompanied him on the TV show.
He told the Westmeath Independent he wasn't “a bit nervous” heading up to the capital for the show and was delighted with the win.
“I was very happy,” he said.
He hasn't yet decided what he will do with the winnings, but says his generous uncle Seán will be high up on the list!
“I'm going to have to give him some!” he laughed. “I must be his favourite nephew!”
A National Lottery spokesperson said: “The writing on the scratch card was not the easiest to decipher and there was no way of reading the phone number. The plot thickened when we checked to see where the scratch card was purchased, as local retailers would usually know their customers, when we discovered it was bought in a Topaz station in Sligo. The writing on the card, as read out by show presenters Marty Whelan and Sinead Kennedy, looked like DJ Flanagan but after we did some digging, we found out that it was OJ Flanagan.”
However the mystery didn’t end there after National Lottery officials made contact with Oliver, as Oliver denied that it was him as he didn’t send in a three-star Winning Streak scratch card.
The spokesperson continued: “Eventually when we asked if there was any possibility that a relation could have put his name on the ticket, Oliver’s dad Michael contacted his own brother, Sean, who lives up in Sligo to see if it was him. Sean revealed that it was indeed he who sent in the card and has been doing it in his nephew’s name for the past two years. Mystery solved!”