A young man who won £99,000 from an ITV game show has said claiming the cash prize was “beyond his wildest dreams”.
Broadcast on ITV last Saturday, 24-yearold Daniel O’Halloran came up against 99 other contestants on The 1% Club. The quiz focuses on reasoning, logic and maths, and is hosted by comedian Lee Mack.
Daniel’s mum applied for him, as his parents are massive fans of the show, reports the Liverpool Echo. When he travelled to Manchester last July for the episode’s filming, winning the top prize didn’t even cross his mind before taking part.
The 1% Club begins with 100 contestants. They compete to make it to the end and answer a final question only 1% of the country can get right, in hopes of winning up to £100,000.
Daniel, from Rock Ferry, Birkenhead, said: “I was quite confident in getting to the latter stages of the show, but I never in my wildest dreams imagined taking home that much money. I thought if I got to £10,000 with no money to fall back on, I’d take the £10,000 and wouldn’t gamble.”
He initially thought he was just going to take the £10,000 and the audience and other contestants agreed with this decision. However, he decided that was too much of a safe option and went for the £99,000 instead.
Despite his doubts, his answer to the last question on maths was proven correct. He said: “I lost control of my body. I was running around celebrating on stage in total shock. I never thought I’d be standing there on the show, let alone winning it.”
However, the most excruciating part of the process was keeping his winnings secret from his family afterwards. He said: “It was very difficult, there were some moments I nearly blurted it out or my family would ask me and I couldn’t keep the smile on my face. I only told my grandma and a few friends.”
The rest of his family gathered around the TV last Saturday to watch his appearance. Watching their reaction was a joy for Daniel. He said: “When they were watching it, they couldn’t believe I’d done it. It was the best thing to see. They were in total shock – they said some things you probably couldn’t print in the paper! They couldn’t believe I’d kept it secret.”
Since the broadcast, Daniel said he feels like a “minor celebrity”. He said: “It’s been crazy. People in shops and in the streets have been asking me about it. I’m overwhelmed by how kind everyone has been.”
Daniel also thanked the whole show for the experience. He said: “All the other contestants were great and probably got me through it! Lee Mack was lovely too.”
Whereas many would be planning for several holidays, Daniel is attempting to be level-headed. He said: “I’ve got to be sensible, maybe look towards the house, pay the mortgage off. But I’ve got to enjoy it as well. I can’t take this for granted.”