King’s Lynn, UNITED KINGDOM
VIJAY SHAH via TANVEER MANN and Metro.co.uk
A British man has probably set the world record for quickest time in flunking a driving test after failing it five seconds in, reported the Metro newspaper yesterday.
Craig Barraza, aged 33, originally from Portlethen in Aberdeenshire but now living in Norfolk, crashed out of his driving test after pulling out of the centre of the wrong side of the road, according to Metro. The hapless learner told the paper he had a ‘complete mind blank’ once he got behind the wheel and largely forgot everything the driving instructor had taught him over his lengthy and expensive preparation lessons.
Barraza, who appeared for his exam at the King’s Lynn test centre, immediately pulled out and began driving down the wrong side of the road. Vehicles in the UK drive on the left. His error was so obvious that even the examiner who was in the front passenger seat with him at the time exclaimed “You do realise you’re on the wrong side of the road?”.
Despite immediately failing his test, Barraza still had to continue driving for another forty minutes, where it is alleged he actually drove so well that he would have passed had it not been for the ghastly error he made at first. The examiner, and Barraza’s driving instructor, Steve Fletcher, said that it was the worst blunder they had seen in 50 years of instruction.
Barraza, who is employed as an operative on a wind energy farm, is said to have spent £1,000 in total on forty lessons with Fletcher, as well as the multiple-choice question ‘theory test’ that all new British drivers are required to sit in addition to the practical.
He said: “I was only just leaving the centre to get out. We were literally just five seconds into it. I was approaching the junction to exit it and I had an absolute mind blank, questioning in my head: ‘What side of the road do we drive on?”
‘I had a 50/50 chance, and I chose to exit it in the right lane. Instant fail. Had I not been so stupid I’d have breezed through.’
‘My examiner with 20 years experience, and my instructor with 30 years both said they have never witnessed anything like it in their careers. I hadn’t even left the test centre car park.”
He added: “I’ve avoided driving because when I was 17 I stalled at a roundabout which just completely put me off. But I was more confident now.
‘I think it’s when you get older you get a bit wiser but that’s rich coming from me after failing like that. I’ve lived in the UK my whole life so there’s no excuse for not driving on the left.
‘Honestly, who fails a test quicker than that? I didn’t even get to the junction.”
Despite his huge messup, Barraza has received supportive messages from his friends after posting about the calamity on social media, however it is not mentioned if he will retake his test.
Metro, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/MetroUK/
“Guy fails driving test in just five seconds after pulling out of centre on wrong side of road” – Tanveer Mann, Metro – News – UK/Associated Newspapers Limited (4 February 2017) http://metro.co.uk/2017/02/04/guy-fails-driving-test-in-just-five-seconds-after-pulling-out-of-centre-on-wrong-side-of-road-6426532/?ito=facebook
“Jan 9 : The Driving Lesson” – Dawn Sajn, Flickr (9 January 2012) https://www.flickr.com/photos/dawnps/6664634135/
A student in Chester, Cheshire, can finally wave goodbye to Pot Noodles and baked beans after she recently won just over £1 million on a lottery run by a local betting shop. Jirtchaya Klongjarn, 34 years, visited a town centre branch of the betting shop chain Ladbrokes, where she placed two £1 bets for the Friday draw of the ‘49’s ‘ lottery. She successfully chose all six winning numbers and netted herself a cool £1,000,990.
It was a case of ‘second time lucky’ for Klongjarn, who only began playing the 49’s lottery just four months ago. She first won £601 in June 2014 and narrowly missed out on a £200,000 windfall after selecting a different draw for her numbers mistakenly earlier in the summer. Among her lucky numbers, the Thai student picked 8 and 12 based on her birthday of 12th August, while the rest of the lucky digits were picked at random.
“I’m over the moon and I still can’t believe it,” Ms Klongjarn said in an interview after the big win. “I told my friends I had won the 49’s and that I might have a chance to win a million, then when I finally found out I was so excited. It still doesn’t feel real and I’ve barely slept. I had some bad luck earlier on in the year but this has made up for it. My friends all play the 49’s and they now say I’m the luckiest in the whole group.”
Ladbrokes’ spokesperson Alex Donohue said in an interview with betting website Bettingpro.com that the company was just as happy for their lucky punter, notwithstanding the huge payout. He commented “We couldn’t be happier for our history-making millionaire,”
“She’s defied the odds in style.”
While not as popular as the Lotto (National Lottery) – which draws the lion’s share of non-professional gamblers in the UK, the 49’s lottery is very popular among the hundreds of thousands of customers that visit Ladbrokes’ branches every week. Just like its popular rivals, punters chose a set of numbers and hope to match all the numbers to get the top prize. The maximum cash giveaway is £1,000,000 if a 49’s player successfully matches all six numbers in one of the twice-daily draws held.
Jirtchaya’s windfall is the second million pound pay-out for Ladbrokes in the past 12 months, after another customer in Bournemouth scooped a seven-figure sum after placing a £4 stake in December 2013.
The wins at opposite ends of the country has certainly stunned Ladbrokes just as much as the lucky winners, Donohue added: “These jackpots are won once in a blue moon so the odds of two coming along in under a year are very long”
“We’re not expecting any sympathy though and we’re paying out with a smile.”
Ms. Klongjarn plans to visit Chester Racecourse with her friends to repeat her success at the races as well as celebrate her win. She also plans to share her fortune with her mother, who is living back in Thailand.