Earlier this month, the Clough Community Vision Committee in Portlaoise, Ireland held a fundraiser to help them build a new community center, with the grand prize being a brand new John Deere tractor worth €100,000. There was some confusion, however, when the winning name was pulled from the raffle ball in front of a crowd at a local pub on St. Patrick's Day, and the much coveted prize went to … a dog?!
From The Laois Nationalist:
Initially, there was some confusion as the scribbled ticket appeared to give the winner's name as Tadgh Dalton and there was no address, only a mobile number for the dog.
However, ticket seller John Finlay stepped forward to reveal that he had sold the ticket just the previous day, when he met a group of 12 men coming out of Hennessy's machinery auction in Portlaoise. They included Patsy Dalton from Galbally, who decided to put his dog Toby's name on the ticket.
John joked: "We have probably made a record – the first dog in Ireland that has won a tractor!"
To add to the absurdity of the situation, Patsy Daltson from Galbally wasn't even there at the bar when his pup's name was called. As The Limerick Post adds:
Patsy said he didn't expect to win the draw, saying he was at a wedding when he got the call to tell him that Toby had won.
"The call came and they said 'can I speak to Toby Dalton?', I just said to him 'he's in bed asleep'.
"So he just said 'he's after winning a tractor worth €100,000."
(I personally like that this guy's dog gets a phone call, and his first reaction is, "Ah, yeah, sorry, the pup is sleeping right now, can I take a message?" not "Why are you calling a dog on the phone?")
Unfortunately, Toby the Terrier has neither a driver's license, nor a tractor / heavy machinery license, and his dog license is non-transferrable. So Toby agreed to let Mr. and Mrs. Dalton trade the tractor for a €100,000 cash prize instead. Patsy Dalton, who turned 72 on the day he claimed his puppy's prize, told a local paper that "It was hard enough to get up on the tractor not to mind coming down out of it."
The first thing he did with the money was give a portion of it back to the community center to help them hit their fundraising goal, which had fallen short.
Dog wins tractor worth €100K in Laois draw! [Laois Nationalist]
Limerick dog unlikely winner of €100,000 tractor in raffle [Katie O'Donovan / Limerick Post]