Eoin Monaghan is eighth wonder on TV’s Countdown
Schoolboy brainbox Eoin Monaghan was hailed a "brilliantly talented young man" after becoming a rare "octochamp" on quiz show Countdown.
The 14-year-old Banbridge boy wowed Channel 4 viewers yesterday, winning the words and numbers show for the eighth day — the maximum number allowed before a contestant must bow out.
The teenager sailed through most rounds yesterday, finishing on an excellent 113 points. His rival, Peter Hawksworth, a Leicester pub manager, put up a valiant effort, but only managed 32 points against the young whizz kid.
Host Jeff Stelling pointed out that Eoin had scored over 100 points on each of his eight appearances, making him only the fourth contestant in the history of Countdown to do so.
After Eoin solved the Countdown Conundrum in a matter of seconds, he was declared the winner, with Stelling telling him: "That was a brilliant end to a brilliant week."
He also said that Eoin had shown everyone an "absolute masterclass" in how to win the long-running quiz show.
Eoin made his way through each word and numbers round, only stumbling over one word, which he spelt incorrectly.
But he continued to pick up points as he won almost every round, at one stage coming up with the nine-letter word verminous.
As Eoin, a pupil at Abbey Christian Brothers Grammar School in Newry, was hailed the winner, his rival joked: "I’m glad I was close."
The programme’s host said: "Eoin has managed to score a minimum of 100 points in every single appearance.
"Only three other players in the history of Countdown have scored 100 points or more each show."
The teenager is back at school now, as the shows were filmed over the summer, but he will return for the Countdown quarter-finals, which get under way in December.