A PENSIONER triathlete was nearly knocked-off his feet after winning a dream trip to Paris in a £1 raffle.
John Etherington, who turns 70 in three weeks, took part in the Deva Triathlon in Chester, and left with more than he bargained for after buying a raffle ticket the day before the event.
He only had £1 change in his pocket, so only bought one ticket, but won two flights to Paris and £300 spending money.
Etherington, of Bod Offa Drive, Buckley, said he and wife Pam, 66, plan on using the free trip to celebrate his big birthday.
Grandfather-of-five Mr Etherington said he nearly fell back into the River Dee when his winning ticket was announced.
“I’m not used to winning anything. It was wonderful,” he said.
“It was such a lovely surprise and it wrapped the day up nicely.
“It was the best pound I have ever spent. I only had £1 in change as well. Pam was with me. She was just as amazed as I was.”
Mr Etherington finished the annual event, now in its 16th year, in about three-and-a-half hours.
“I have done a triathlon in the past but this was my first Olympic distance event,” said father-of-two Mr Etherington. “It went better than I was expecting it to go. I was dreading the swim!”
The event, organised by the City of Chester Triathlon Club members, is an Olympic distance triathlon held in the centre of Chester.