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I BEAT 20m TO LAND LAST pounds 10 SEATS ON CONCORDE; Joe grabs bargain of a lifetime.

Supersonic Joe Traynor beat 20million people to the last two pounds 10 tickets on Concorde.

Joe and wife Margaret will be among 15 Scots enjoying the high life at cut price on the 1350mph jet.

They beat off competition from all over the world to win one of the 190 places in a special British Airways offer.

They include a doctor who doesn't like flying and a health worker who couldn't think who to take with him.

The airline offered people the chance to fly to New York on the supersonic jet for pounds 10 return - instead of the normal pounds 5400.

The offer marked the tenth anniversary of BA's move into the private sector. Callers had to ring a special hotline - and pray they got through.

But dad-of-three Joe, 45, of Coatbridge, Lanarkshire, almost lost out. He didn't realise he would need a credit card to pay for the tickets.

Joe had to keep a BA operator hanging on as he searched in vain for Margaret's plastic.

He tried to use son Paul's card, only to find it was unnacceptable.

Then his mobile phone batteries began to fade.

It was only when pal Martin Friskey stepped in with HIS credit card that the deal was finally done.

Beaming Joe said yesterday: "I've never won a thing in my life and I'm just over the moon to have won this."

Joe and Margaret, 44, will fly out first class on Concorde on Tuesday and will return two days later.

He reckons it will be a perfect late Valentine's gift for Margaret.

Joe, a salesman, said: "I'd like to stay in the Trump Plaza hotel - but I'm worried my wife might start spending cash like Ivana."

Dr John Leonard, 42, from Falkirk, was another lucky winner - and he wanted to give his prize away.

The GP doesn't like flying - but his wife Linda and his daughters had no intention of taking to the air. So Dr Leonard will be taking his brother on Concorde as his "minder".

He said: "It's fair to say flying is not a favourite occupation of mine. I am slightly uneasy about it - but it will not stop me going.

"In the end I put my brother's name forward because he flies to America regularly, so I thought he would be able to keep my nerves under control.

"The only way I could go to New York would be on Concorde - but I thought I would have to win the lottery before that happened."

Health service worker Murali Murugasu, 28, from Glasgow, was another lucky caller - but only asked for one ticket.

He couldn't think of anyone to take with him.

Murali said: "I didn't have time to tell anyone or ring them up so I will have to spend the time on my own.

"I am doing it just for the sheer experience of going on Concorde."

Widow Sarah Dickson, 66, from Inverness, and her daughter Louise, 24, will also be flying high on the exclusive plane.

Sarah said: "I didn't think we had a hope in hell.

"I have always wanted to go to New York but the main thing is to go on Concorde. I would never have been able to afford it, so this is great.

"Knowing my daughter, we will be round all the big fashion shops, but I want to see all the sights."

British Airways were baffled why so many Scots got lucky.

A spokeswoman said: "It was a good proportion, considering it was a worldwide promotion.

"The people who have got the tickets are from literally all over the word - from Basildon to Bombay."
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Copyright 1997 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Thompson, David; Martin, Stephen
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Feb 13, 1997
Words:605
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