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November 1982 November 1977
Wexford golf professional Damien McGrane is on cloud nine this week after securing his European Tour card for next season.
His steady progress was rewarded at the qualifying tour school in Spain when he finished in 32nd place, with the top 35 along with ties being guaranteed their tour cards.
The adopted Wexford man was over the moon with his performance, particularly after his involvement in the finish of the challenge tour exempted him from some of the earlier qualifying rounds.
This would have increased the pressure on many a golfer, but Damien played out of his skin in Spain to earn his card in very special circumstances.
He was lucky to have former Wexford assistant professional Liam Bowler - his former club colleague - as his caddy for the qualifying rounds.
The Meath native is now guaranteed invites to eight European Tour events next year, and the Before the Lotto was the Irish Sweepstakes, and large adverts encouraged people to buy a ticket in the hope that a good horse would lead them to a fortune.
Forty years ago this month, you could buy a ticket for the November Sweep for £2. If that was too much, quarter shares were also offered, at 50p each. The prize fund for that big race was to be £70,000.
Another contest that month had a different sort of prize. ‘Win a gallon of Welsh Whiskey!’ declared an advert placed by the Welsh Tourist Board. The lucky winner would also receive a trip to the distillery in Dyfed to pick the prize up in person.