Being the sort of people who like to be prepared, we researched the challenge beforehand. The Terms and Conditions stated that the contestants had to put their hands on the Hyundai in designated spots for six hours. If after this time more than one person was left standing, it would go to a Tie Break question. So we thought it'd be prudent to swot up on a few facts. Ian learnt a load of facts and figures on the Hyundai I20 and the company itself...founded in 1967, car width 1.71m and for sale in 193 countries etc. However, on a last minute whim I printed out a Wikipedia page on the shopping centre just in case! On the journey down we did a spot of cramming of the information!
We arrived and Ian signed waiver forms relinquishing Eden's responsibiity in the event of any misfortune that might befall him! Worrying!! We met the other contestants and their families. Most were friendly and chatty, excited by the whole experience. Others were secretive, not wanting to fraternise with the enemy!! One person didn't show up at all! Ian was the second oldest there, most of the entrants were students from the local college...young and fit! Lots were drawn for your car position, allocating a pair of coloured handprints to everyone. Ian got the worst position for him...on the driver side door with one hand on the window and the other under the wing mirror. Being tall he could not get his hand on the lower print without twisting it to point downwards. So he awkwardly took his position, looking like he was in pain from the onset! However with stalwart determination he powered through the pain barrier and did the first three hours without incident. Everyone had a 15 minute comfort break at 1pm which re-energised them all and allowed everyone to use the toilet. By now it was pretty certain that no one was going to give up...so we revised a few facts...just in case!
Back on the car, the final three hours went by quite fast. Friends and family turned up to support Ian which clearly kept him going! He held out brilliantly, despite losing all sensation in his hand at one point!
But he soldiered on to the countdown that declared the contestants could take their hands off! Then came the tie-break questions. We had no idea what to expect but we hoped for the best. I could not believe our luck when the first question asked for the date when the shopping centre was opened...we had read it this morning...2008!!! Three people did not know this and were out, leaving five and Ian left! When the next question was read out, I knew the Gods were smiling. How many square feet of shopping space was available in the centre? OMG...we knew the answer. Peoples' faces dropped all around the car. Only one other woman had researched any information and she was struggling to remember. But my fabulous husband remembered the fact with absolute instant clarity...850,000sq ft! Following this question they announced they had a winner...Ian gave me a knowing grin as they called out his name as the winner! I could not believe that he had really done it...I was really shaking! An amazing feeling!!!
Ian did so well, rising to the physical challenge and having the foresight to swot up and having the memory when it counted under pressure! He is now the proud owner of a Hyundai I20 worth £11,500. I am so proud of him....and I love Wikipedia!!!