Nurse will help family with her £10,000 prize

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The Independent Online

Nurse Diane Cocksedge has become the second winner of The Independent's Heads or Tails competition, thanks to some accurate guesses and her husband's scrutiny of the financial coverage.

Mrs Cocksedge, 56, who has been reading this newspaper since it was founded 23 years ago, plans to use the £10,000 cash prize to help her children, Kate, 30, and Richard, 28.

"We're going to give them some of the money," she said. "My daughter is doing a master's degree and my son's wife is expecting a baby in May."

She had to predict whether more or fewer goals would be scored in the Liverpool-Everton game compared to their previous match (fewer); if the Royal Bank of Scotland's share price would go up or down (up); the pound's fortunes against the dollar (sterling rose); and whether Barack Obama's inaugural speech as US president would be longer or shorter than George Bush's (shorter).

The decider was to say where the Dow Jones share index would close, which she did simply by averaging out the most recent highs and lows.

Mrs Cocksedge, of Sudbury, Suffolk, said her success was down to "guesswork and my husband Richard looking at the financial pages".

"For the football one," she said, "I was listening to some person on 5 Live when I was driving home from work who said Everton are really improving and Liverpool will 'rise to the challenge', so I thought if they are both improving, maybe they won't score many goals.

"I'm so shocked about this. It was done reasonably scientifically as far as my husband was concerned, but I was more 'oh probably that'll do, we'll go with that one', so I feel quite bad it wasn't more scientifically done.

"I've thought since I had the phone call that it was probably all a wind-up, so I haven't thought too much about it, other than that I didn't want to get too excited. Until I get to see the money in my hot little hand, I don't think I'll believe it." Mrs Cocksedge said she had been reading The Independent since it began "so I suppose we deserved it as loyal fans". She added: "I love it [the paper], especially now it is smaller. I just think it is what it says on the tin. You don't get any sensationalism and it doesn't treat you like you are an idiot. I like most things about it."

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