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Donegal's Winning Streak Lotto love affair continues

Inishowen man, Pauric Collum (second from left) became the third member of his family to taste Winning Streak success when he appeared on the RTÉ show last month. He was presented with his €23,000 winnings by Irish Nation Lottery chief executive, Dermot Griffin and joined by show hosts, Sineád Kennedy and Marty Whelana. Picture by Mac Innes Photography.
Seamus McKinney

DONEGAL'S lucky Lotto love affair with RTÉ's Winning Streak programme looks set to continue after no less than three people from the county were picked for next Saturday's show.

The county has had a remarkable run of luck in the weekly show in which contestants can win holidays, cars and cash prizes up to €1 million (£861,805). To appear on the show, contestants must send in a scratch card with three matching stars. Five lucky qualifying scratch cards are then drawn from a drum live during the preceding Saturday night show.

One of the most popular game shows on RTÉ, Winning Streak often ranks in the top five weekly rating for the station. Presented by RTÉ veteran Marty Whelan and Sineád Kennedy, the show has proved particularly lucky for Donegal people since the start of the year.

In six out of eight weekly shows contestants from the north west have been picked out to appear on the programme. In a remarkable coincidence last month, a family from the county won through for a third time just weeks after one of them scooped €25,000 (£21,539) on the show.

Pauric Collum took part in Winning Streak just weeks after his cousin, Maggie Collum had her twin sister, Rosie deputise for her. Rosie's appearance came 10 years after she also won €37,000 (£31,878) on the show.

In February, Letterkenny grandmother, Teresa Shiels won €28,000 (£24,124) while just seven days earlier, Killygordon man, Gerard Muldoon scooped €20,000 (£17,231) and an electric car.

Other Donegal winners included Katya Galera from Bundoran and Eamonn McCready from Doochery.

But the county's winning run moved onto a whole new plain last Saturday when three people from Donegal were picked for next Saturday's show. Kathleen Coyle from St Johnston, Sarah McCarron from Clonmany and Chris Gillespie from Carrick all had their names drawn from the winners' drum.

Presenter Whelan told viewers: “I think we should do an outside broadcast in Donegal.”

After the third name was drawn, his co-host Kennedy quipped: “We'd be cheaper to go there. To get them all down on the bus it wouldn't be fair.”

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