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big prize Paddy Power's desperate struggle to give away €1million finally ends this weekend

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Kemboy and jockey Danny Mullins jump the last on their way to winning the Paddy Power Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Kemboy and jockey Danny Mullins jump the last on their way to winning the Paddy Power Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Kemboy and jockey Danny Mullins jump the last on their way to winning the Paddy Power Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

You wouldn't think it would be too hard to give away €1million as a cash prize, but it has proved to be a huge challenge for Irish bookies Paddy Power over the last few weeks.

Their Millionaire Chase promotion created a wave of interest ahead of what should have been a glorious start to 2021 for one punter on New Year's Day.

That's when the jackpot should have been handed over to the lucky winner, with the winning horse in the Paddy Power Chase at Cheltenham on the first day of the new year.

Lightning struck not once, but two more times over the last 10 weeks as more meetings fell to waterlogged and frozen tracks and the millionaire could not be crowned.

But that all changes on Saturday, as the mega prize will finally be handed over.

Paddy Power's Millionaire Chase will now take place at Sandown in the Imperial Cup at 2.25pm and unless the the Gods come up with another way to block their efforts to hand over the cash, the big winner will finally be getting their cheque.

The punters who were drawn out of a hat to earn their crack at the €1milllion jackpot have been waiting on tenterhooks for the last few weeks, with

Stuart King is one of the qualifiers for the Millionaire Chase, with former professional footballer who played at Preston under manager David Moyes and is now manager of Banbridge Town counting down to the big race.

"I didn’t answer the first few times Paddy rang (sorry Paddy) but my wife Bernice told me; 'look answer the phone, that person has been ringing you all week'," said Stuart, who won €10,000 just for qualifying for the Millionaire Chase finale.

"To be honest, I thought it was one of the football lads taking the piss, when I finally answered. I still didn’t really believe it until I saw the 10k in my account.

" I remember entering just after Christmas, my £5 bet didn’t win at the time but 10k and the chance to win €1million wasn’t a bad return in the end!

"It'll be hard to sleep before Saturday, but I got married in Barbados and if I win me and my wife will be on the first plane back there once we're allowed."

Spokesman Paddy Power said: "Seriously, how hard can it be to give someone €1 million? Every time we tried to give it away the weather turned against us, but finally now on Saturday we will crown a new millionaire."

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