Edward McCullagh

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Edward McCullagh

Edward "Ed" McCullagh was an octochamp and the champion of Series 64. He was a customer service rep from Newry, County Down, Northern Ireland.

McCullagh first appeared on Countdown on 2 February 2011, and beat Dave Dyer in a fairly close and high-scoring debut episode, with both players finding the nine-letter word BETTERING. McCullagh followed this up with seven more victories, including a near-perfect performance against Judy Baynes. Here, he achieved maximum points in all of the first 14 rounds, but was unlucky enough to receive a conundrum which no one in the studio was able to solve (MEGALITRE). He's also notable for having kept three of his opponents to scores under 30.

With an octochamp total of 896, McCullagh was #2 seed for the finals, second to his eventual final opponent Adam Gillard by only 7 points. He made quick work of #7 seed Andrew McNamara and #6 seed Mary Adie, with offerings including UNAWARE, INDORSED, UPSTAIR, PANTOUM, MONIKERS, NEURONE and the conundrums BEDSITTER and SINGLETON. The final proved to be closer. However, McCullagh remained on top, offering a solution to a very hard first numbers game and pulling away further with CARDIO, and despite neither player solving the conundrum, he prevailed by 113 points to 94, earning the Richard Whiteley Memorial Trophy and the title of Series 64 champion.

He returned to the studios in July 2012, to take part in a special episode against Series 65 champion, Graeme Cole, which he won 107 – 71, meaning that he maintained his unbeaten record on the show.

He returned to Countdown a year later, and with the shortened name of Ed, as one of 41 contestants taking part in the 30th Birthday Championship. He lost his only match (and with it, his unbeaten record) against the Series 66 runner-up Jonathan Rawlinson on a second conundrum, after drawing 94 – 94.

In 2012, he attended his first Countdown tournament, finishing in 2nd place at the CobliviLon tournament, losing in the final to Innis Carson. In September 2016, he secured his first tournament victory by prevailing over Dan McColm in the final of Countdown in Dublin 2016.

Preceded by
Jack Hurst
Series winner
Series 64
Followed by
Graeme Cole

Episodes

# Date Type Contestant 1 Score Contestant 2 Guest Lex Max
5196 2/02/2011 P Dave Dyer 83 – 115 Edward McCullagh Gregg Wallace Susie Dent 132
5197 3/02/2011 P Edward McCullagh 97 – 28 David Clerkin Gregg Wallace Susie Dent 119
5198 4/02/2011 P Edward McCullagh 120 – 45 Judy Baynes Gregg Wallace Susie Dent 130
5199 7/02/2011 P Edward McCullagh 108 – 24 Paul Walsh Martin Lewis Susie Dent 117
5200 8/02/2011 P Edward McCullagh 118 – 38 Harold Sanditen Martin Lewis Susie Dent 119
5201 9/02/2011 P Edward McCullagh 106 – 76 Andrew Mossford Martin Lewis Susie Dent 116
5202 10/02/2011 P Edward McCullagh 121 – 27 Lalitha Thyagarajan Martin Lewis Susie Dent 127
5203 11/02/2011 P Edward McCullagh 111 – 40 Terry O'Hanlon Martin Lewis Susie Dent 119
5273 27/05/2011 QF Edward McCullagh 101 – 36 Andrew McNamara Alistair McGowan Susie Dent 119
5277 2/06/2011 SF Edward McCullagh 120 – 41 Mary Adie Gregg Wallace Susie Dent 131
5278 3/06/2011 GF Adam Gillard 94 – 113 Edward McCullagh Gregg Wallace Susie Dent 127
S35 30/07/2012 S Graeme Cole 71 – 107 Edward McCullagh Mark Foster Susie Dent 119
5623 17/01/2013 30BP Ed McCullagh 94 – 104* Jonathan Rawlinson Martin Lewis Susie Dent 117
* includes 10 points from a tie-break conundrum
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