Donegal on a Winning Streak as it’s named luckiest county

Ireland's longest running television game show, Winning Streak, returns to RT� One television this Saturday (28th September) for the landmark 30th season of the popular National Lottery game show..  Picture Jason Clarke/MacInnes Photography.
Ireland's longest running television game show, Winning Streak, returns to RT� One television this Saturday (28th September) for the landmark 30th season of the popular National Lottery game show.. Picture Jason Clarke/MacInnes Photography.

Donegal was the luckiest Winning Streak county in the last season of the RTÉ One show, it has been revealed.

Ireland’s longest running television game show returns to RTÉ One television this Saturday (28th September) for the landmark 30th season.

As ever, the show co-presenters Marty Whelan and Sinead Kennedy will have prizes and cash galore for five lucky players every week, with one getting the chance to spin the iconic Winning Streak Grand Prize Wheel.

This comes as new National Lottery figures show that Donegal was the luckiest Winning Streak county in the last season. 15 players from Donegal won a total of €630,000, with an average prize per player of €42,000.

Donegal is followed by Cork, in second place, which also had 15 players also in the last season who won an average of €36,133 each and a total of €542,000 in prize money. Galway is the third in the Luckiest Winning Streak Counties table, with 10 players winning a total of €392,000. Dublin also had 10 players on the show’s last series, winning a combined €355,000. Completing the top five is County Limerick which had eight players on the show who won a total of €332,000 between September 2018 and May 2019.

The popular game show first appeared on our screens on 21st September 1990 which makes it the second longest running game show in Europe, second only to Countdown.

Since 1990, a massive 6,110 people have taken part, winning in excess of €180 million in prizes. In total, €5,549,000 was won during the last season alone.

While the show is 30 years old this year, this is not the only milestone as Marty Whelan is marking his 10th year presenting the programme.

Speaking on the return of the show and his decade of Winning Streak, Marty Whelan, said: “I couldn’t believe it when I realised that it has been ten years since I joined Winning Streak – the decade has gone by so quick. Winning Streak is definitely unique – there’s nothing else like it. It truly is reality television, except in this show nobody gets hurt – they win large sums of money that help them along in their lives, whatever stage they are at, whether they be young or old”.

Sinead Kennedy, who has been presenting Winning Streak since 2013, said: “My favourite part of the show is definitely meeting the five players each week. Central to Winning Streak’s success is the fact it reaches into every community in Ireland and you see every walk of life. Viewers relate to the players each week and this inclusiveness is a testament to the show’s longevity and success and it’s why Winning Streak continues to be a Saturday night institution all across Ireland”

The lucky first five Winning Streak players this season are:

Michelle Connolly from Kilbeggan, Co. Westmeath

Siobhan Ryan from Thurles, Co. Tipperary

Gary McVeigh from Newry, Co. Down

Adrian Taite from Virginia, Co. Cavan

Owen Martin from Granard, Co. Longford

The National Lottery game show, co-presented by Marty Whelan and Sinead Kennedy, will feature some perennial favorite games including Play or Pay, Roll for Riches, WinFall and Electric Dream – where one player will win an electric car worth €25,000.

As ever one of the lucky five players will get the chance to spin the wheel and win up to €500,000. An exciting element of the show is that one €100,000 segment will be added to the Grand Prize Wheel every show if less than that amount was won in the previous show, improving players chances to win a massive prize.

Nearly 30 cent in every €1 spent on Winning Streak and all National Lottery games goes back to Good Causes in the areas of sport, youth, health, welfare, education, arts, heritage and the Irish Language. In total more than €5.4 Billion has been raised for Good Causes since the National Lottery was established 32 years ago. In 2018 alone, more than €227 million was raised; the equivalent of €620,000 a day in support for local Good Causes in communities across Ireland.