Donald’s surprise spot the ball windfall

Donald receives his cheque for £2,000 from the Courier's Rebecca Harvey.
Donald receives his cheque for £2,000 from the Courier's Rebecca Harvey.

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A Kintyre man who has never played shinty in his life was surprised to land £2,000 in the Courier’s Spot the Shinty Ball competition.

Donald McLellan, 83, from Machrihanish, was up against hundreds of people in the competition which also runs in the Courier’s sister titles – the Argyllshire Advertiser, the Oban Times and the Lochaber Times.

Donald said: ‘It was a great surprise. It’s a lovely wee lift in the new year, after spending a few pounds at Christmas!

‘I play regularly – I’ve been doing it for years – and I’ve had a few near misses, winning £25, but I’ve never won the big money.’

The competition used to ask Courier and Advertiser readers to find the location of a football but changed last year to a shinty ball when the competitions in all four papers were amalgamated.

‘When it turned to the shinty ball I said to myself, “I don’t play shinty, I never ever did”, so it’s just a guess – pot luck, I suppose. I thought “I’ll just keep on going.” If you don’t try, you won’t win.’

Asked if he has plans for the money, Donald said: ‘I might get a new mower!’

Donald was the closest to the ball in this week’s competition which ran for four weeks instead of the usual one because of the festive period. He landed the guaranteed £2,000 prize but, had he landed directly on the ball, he would have won the £4,150 jackpot.

For your chance to win next week’s £2,150 prize money, turn to page 35.