By Patrick Markey
Daron Cole was a contender. And he could have been a millionaire.
But in one nail-biting moment, the Belfast father of two lost out on a chance to be rich.
Reports the Belfast Telegraph, Cole was a finalist in a British radio program quiz, and was one question away from scooping the mega-cash prize of £1 million.
But the other finalist, Claire Barrick from Worthington, walked away with the cash bonanza — believed to be the biggest giveaway in the history of British broadcasting.
Cole lost the jackpot after a nail-biting "sudden death" climax which saw the pair pit their wits against each other. Cole had already beaten 31 other people by correctly answering a series of questions on the morning show.
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In a tense head-to-head live on air, both contestants were asked five questions. After successfully answering the first question correctly, they both failed to get the second one right.
Cole fell at the final stumbling block when he was asked "what does biennial mean." He wrongly replied "twice a year" instead of every two years. Waiting to hear his opponent answer her fifth question correctly, Cole lost out on the chance to become the first ever radio millionaire.
Another exciting discovery has been made in Belclare.
Inside a huge, record-breaking duck egg, poultry experts have discovered another smaller egg, reports the Tuam Herald.
Agricultural and food development officials described the discovery a "quirk of nature" after examining the second egg found inside the giant shell.
The whopping main shell is over eight inches in diameter — almost as big as an ostrich egg — is now even more likely to make it into the Guinness Book of Records. The huge egg was produced by a white duck named Queen M’ve.
"It is just one of those things that there is no scientific answer for," said poultry expert Nuala King. It seems after the first egg was formed it went "back up through the manufacturing process" inside the duck’s body collecting more egg white around it before being encased in the large outer shell.
A spokesperson at the Guinness Book of Records in London has asked that egg owners send them as much details as possible about the egg, especially the results of examinations by independent poultry experts.
"It may be a world record, and even if not, it could be an Irish record, but we need to examine all the independent information that can be gathered on it, plus photographs," a spokesperson at Guinness Publishing told the paper.
Poisonous pub grub
What should have been a sad farewell turned into a gastrointestinal disaster for a mourning family when 22 Dublin funeralgoers were hit with a mystery stomach bug.
The Northside People newspaper reports that the mourners were taken ill with a serious gastrointestinal ailment after attending a post-funeral dinner at a local Finglas Village pub.
After complaints to environmental health officials, the pub voluntarily closed its doors for a fortnight.
Samples were sent for analysis, the health board stated, and salmonella poisoning was isolated from some of those who were ill. Several victims intend taking legal action against the pub.
One funeralgoer who attended the function said the food served included soup and beef, turkey and chicken sandwiches. Twenty four hours after eating the food, she became violently ill.
"It was very frightening at first — I didn’t know what the problem was," she told The People. "I became really sick with a high fever, vomiting and diarrhea. Eventually I became aware that other people at the function were getting sick as well."
But the public house seemed to have other ideas. When contacted for comment, a spokesperson for the public house said: "Food poisoning, what food poisoning? You’ve got your facts wrong — we were closed for kitchen renovations."
Christmas is a time of good will to all — except if you’re Santa Claus in County Cork.
Local gardai launched an investigation after some mean-spirited grump robbed a 15-foot Santa from a local cafe and dumped him and his reindeers in a damp, ditch outside Watergrasshill village in Cork.
The Examiner newspaper reports that an alert motorist spotted Santa and the reindeers lying partially covered in the ditch. The Santa decoration, valued at around £4,000, was speedily returned to nearby O’Connell Street.
"Santa and his reindeers are a little shaken but otherwise none the worse for their ordeal," a spokesperson for Clonmel Chamber of Commerce said. "There was an air of depression around the town when news of the theft broke, but now that depression has given way to genuine delight."
Clonmel gardaí continued their investigation into Santa’s unofficial disappearance, and they have appealed to the general public for assistance.