I’m sure we’re all familiar with the automated Facebook posts that show on our feed reminding us what we were doing two, three, four years ago. A lot of mine are pictures of Jack and Lucy in amusing or cute (to me anyway) poses or rare photos of me on a night out. I’m not a massive fan of them usually because in the older posts I’m in better shape and I have a hairline. Today though the three year memory was of something pretty good, winning the Sky Sports Super Six
An Average Family Saturday
From what I can remember Saturday 13th December 2014 was a pretty standard Saturday for the most part. Jack would have been two and a half and Lucy about six months. The first thing I remember of the day was sitting downstairs at about 11am, waiting for Nina to come downstairs. We were going out somewhere,I remember having my coat and trainers on messing with my phone whilst waiting. I know it was around 11am because I was finishing picking my Fantasy Premier League team ready for the 11:30 deadline.
Then, fortunately, I decided to pick my Sky Sports Super Six scores. It wasn’t something that I always remembered to do and only did this time because I was passing time. I can honestly say I didn’t spend anytime at all choosing the results. I literally entered the first score that came in to my head for each match. There was no analysing results or checking injuries and suspensions. I’ve watched and played football for over 25 years so I like to think I do have a bit of knowledge. It wasn’t as though I just plucked random scores out of the air, I guess you could say they were informed guesses. Once I’d entered them I gave them no further thought.
Saturday Night Football
On the Saturday afternoon/evening I played football with my brother and a group of his friends. We used to play every Friday night for a couple of years but with family commitments and general laziness it tailed off. This was a bit of a reunion. I can’t remember what time we played but I’m guessing it was 4-5 which would tie in with full time for the Three O’Clock premier league games. From what I remember it was freezing cold and the team I played on got thrashed. Obviously I was brilliant (can’t remember but I must have been).
I remember being glad when we finished because it was so cold. The first thing I did when we finished was to go and check my phone, to look at the football scores. Not because of super six, just to see how Blues got on. My phone had loads of WhatsApp messages on it but I didn’t think much of it. While I was looking at the score I saw one message flash across the top saying something like “I can’t believe it, this must be some sort of joke”. Now that would normally be enough to make me curious about the content of the WhatsApp chat. However I’d just seen that Blues had won 6-1 against Reading! That does not happen very often so i assumed the messages were about that.
The First Realisation
After chatting about the football results I remember getting in to the car and opening up the WhatsApp conversation that had about 20 unread messages. The group was about the Sky Sports Super Six league that I was part of with some work colleagues. We’d all joined at the start of the season and I was well near the bottom of the league as I didn’t always fill in the scores. I don’t think the chat group even existed before that day.
Somebody else in the league had got a good score that week, in the 20s (you need 30 to win). They logged on to the app to check how it compared with the top score. Upon doing this they saw my name at the top with a score of 30. This led them to message everybody else in the league. So everybody knew that I’d won before I did.
After catching up on all of the messages my heart began to race. There were lots of messages asking why I wasn’t responding and demanding some answers. I tried to log on to the app but it wouldn’t let me. It kept freezing and throwing me out. My initial thoughts were that it was a mistake, another David Adams. I messaged asking somebody to check. They’d already checked and it was definitely me because it showed up in the private league. Oh shit. I didn’t say anything to the people in the car park at football. Instead I started to drive home. Admittedly I was checking my WhatsApp as I was driving and trying desperately to open the app.
I Might Have Won Some Money…….
When I got home I planned on keeping a low profile whilst quietly checking what the hell was going on. However when I walked through the door I think I held it together for about 30 seconds.
Nina: “How was football?”
Me: “Yeah it was ok – I think I might have won some money”
Nina: “Cool, how much?”
Me: “Well if I have won something, it’ll be £250,000…….”
That’s when shit got serious. I put Sky Sports News on and frantically searched online for a contact number. I couldn’t find anything. People kept texting telling me to ring up but I couldn’t find the pissing number!! I ended up emailing with my username and pin code hoping that someone would email back. They did, I think, although I can’t quite remember how it went.
The Hour That Felt Like a Week
Eventually I managed to speak to somebody from Sky Sports on the phone. I explained that I thought I’d won Super Six and they asked me some security questions. After answering them they put me on hold for a couple of minutes. I assumed they were just going to check my details to confirm that I’d won. When they came back on the line though they soured the mood.
They told me that the account I’d played on wasn’t registered to me but was registered to Nina. This was fine, I explained that it was my wife and that I’d forgotten the login details for my account so created a new one. They asked me if Nina knew I was playing on her account. I explained that Nina didn’t even know she had an account, I just used her email address so that I could play. At that point I think they asked to speak to Nina, she corroborated what i’d said.
The Fraud of the Century
It was at this point that they explained that it was against the rules and regulations to play on somebody else’s account, even if it is your wife. We were told that they may not be able to pay out because of this and that they’d have to go away and discuss further before coming to a decision.
The next hour or so felt like a lifetime. It was so weird. We wanted to be excited and naturally started thinking about what it would be like to win £250k. At the same time though we couldn’t get too carried away because we were unsure whether or not they were going to pay out. I’d already told a couple of my close friends what was going on and so they were asking for updates. Jeff Stelling was on Sky Sports Soccer Saturday asking for Nina Adams to get in touch – she already has Jeff, tell your mates to stop cocking about!
The £250,000 Super Six Phone Call
Finally the phone rang, it was Nina’s phone as they’d stated they’d only talk to Nina as the account holder. This phone call is probably my clearest memory of the whole day. Nina put the call on loud speaker so that we could both hear and we were in the kitchen of our now old house. I’ll never forget the words of the caller:
“As we’ve explained, it’s against the rules of the game to play on somebody else’s account. However as a gesture of goodwill……”
My face switched at this point, I was about to go absolutely mental at the person on the phone. To me, a gesture of goodwill is usually some sort of compromise, booby prize. So I was thinking, as a gesture of goodwill, we’ll give you £1000, something like that. He went on to say that as a gesture of goodwill they would pay the £250,000. That’s not a gesture of goodwill, that’s paying what we’re entitled to!! Funny how that one sentence still pisses me off to this day. Anyway – we’d won £250,000!!
My Wife the Football Genius
Well, officially, Nina won £250,000. One of the stipulations of the payout was that Nina sign a document saying that she alone predicted the scores for Super Six and that nobody else helped. We both find it pretty amusing because Nina loathes football. She’s never watched a match and really could not care less about it.
The Sky Sports media team rang and asked Nina a few questions and within an hour or so there was a story on Sky Sports online and on the mobile app. I posted a photo on Facebook and things went a bit crazy. It was brilliant though. We’d already decided to put the house on the market and so the money obviously helped out massively with that. With it coming just before Christmas too, it really was perfect.
Nina was asked to go to the Sky Sports studios in London to be presented with the Super Six cheque. They asked which day we could do and we said any day apart from the Thursday because I was interviewing at work that day. Obviously they asked Nina to go on the Thursday. I’m pretty sure they did it on purpose so that I wasn’t there. It was a bit disappointing to be honest, it would have been nice to have had that experience and as vain as it sounds, to have my name on the cheque. In the grand scheme of things though it really didn’t matter.
Paul Merson presented Nina with the cheque and she said he was very nice and friendly. Apparently Jeff was busy filming so couldn’t be there. My mom went with Nina to London, to help with Jack and Lucy, who was only 6 months old (Nina had to breastfeed in the Sky Sports car park!). I was delighted when I realised that Jack had his Blues shirt on, with Merson being an ex Villa player.
The next step was waiting for the money to go in to the bank account. The next day we were both constantly refreshing the HSBC app to try and spot the money first. Nina won and sent me a screenshot of the balance. I’ve had worse text messages.
Winning Super Six allowed us to buy a beautiful family home and gave us the security all families crave. We feel blessed to have been so lucky (although it was mostly skill).
Ashley Barnes is my Hero
The last goal scored of the games that won us the money was the Ashley Barnes winner for Burnley in a 1-0 win against Southampton. Artur Boruc also saved a Tadic pen in that game. The sweetest result was West Brom beating Villa 1-0, with Craig Gardner, a Blues fan scoring the winner. The amount of different situations, stray passes, close calls and incorrect refereeing decisions in the six games was really highlighted when I watched MOTD that night. It could have so easily have been very different.
Up the Ashley Barnes.