An Athlone native, who almost missed out on the opportunity to appear on Winning Streak won €23,000 during the televised National Lottery game show on Saturday night.
Unaware that his uncle had inscribed his name on the back of a three star Winning Streak lottery ticket, Oliver Flanagan, Moydrum, enjoyed a financially fruitful trip to the RTE studios.
In what was a unique situation, as Oliver could not originally be contacted, the National Lottery put a call out to the Athlone and wider Westmeath public on local radio to find the person who had been pulled out of the drum to appear on the programme.
Speaking prior to Saturday night’s show, 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 and 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 carried out some research, we found out that it was OJ Flanagan.”
However, the mystery didn’t end there after National Lottery officials made contact with Oliver, as the Moydrum resident denied that it was he whose name was on the rear of the ticket as he had not sent in a three star Winning Streak scratch card.
“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 him who sent in the card and has been doing it in his nephew’s name for the past two years. Mystery solved!,” the National Lottery spokesperson added.
Oliver works in Flancare, a warehousing company in Athlone, where he has been for more than 20 years. He is also part time farmer, and, along with his father, they breed Angus cattle. Oliver also breeds poultry (chickens, turkeys and geese ) and travels the country, selling this produce at agricultural festivals, as well as to locals in Westmeath.
His parents Pat and Michael, together with his sister Michelle, were amongst the television audience as Oliver’s turn of fortune was rewarded with a cash windfall, some of which, no doubt, will be afforded to his thoughtful Sligo based uncle!