Bike ride for turkey not in vain

George Evans had a feeling he would win a turkey.

The 87-year-old felt so good about his odds that he cycled in from Mosgiel on his e-bike to hand-deliver his entry to the Otago Daily Times ham and turkey giveaway.

The 100 winning subscribers were announced throughout last week and each day he checked the list for his name.

Mr Evans did not win a turkey.

But to celebrate his efforts, three ODT staff members showed up at his house yesterday to give him one anyway.

Unfortunately, Mr Evans did not recognise us, instead thinking we were members of a local religious group.

But once his eyes made their way down to the frozen, tinsel-covered bird, they lit up.

"I was absolutely dumbfounded.

"I’m just amazed, it’s just so wonderful to finally get one."

After the turkey was placed securely on the kitchen counter, Mr Evans gave an update of how his bike ride went.

After cycling in from Mosgiel to hand deliver his entry into the ham and turkey giveaway, George...
After cycling in from Mosgiel to hand deliver his entry into the ham and turkey giveaway, George Evans secured a turkey for Christmas lunch despite not being a winner. PHOTO: CHRISTINE O'CONNOR
His heavy electric bike ran out of power halfway home and he had to ride it over Saddle Hill the old-fashioned way, he said.

He could have called his wife, Carole, to pick him up, but did not want to give in.

"I’m a pretty tough old fella."

When asked how he felt after the ride, he summed it up simply: "Tired."

"I could put it a little stronger but I don’t think you’d want to publish it."

He had entered into the annual competition many times but had never won.

"We’ve been trying for years."

After seeing his appearance in the ODT, more than a dozen people had asked him if he had won.

"Maybe next time," he said.

They were "all very sympathetic," but now he did not have to wait until next time.

"I had a feeling I was going to get a turkey."