Three lucky winners win $100 each in The New Paper Match & Score contest

SCORE: Operations executive Vijayan Ramasamy (above), retiree Eddie Koh and customer service officer James Chung Weng Hong were last night’s three winners.

He arrived at the SPH News Centre just seven minutes before the deadline to claim his prize.

Operations executive Vijayan Ramasamy, 46, was one of three winners last night who scored $100 each in The New Paper Match & Score contest.

The contest coincides with the Euro 2016 football tournament, which kicked off early this morning.

Mr Vijayan realised he had won only after returning from work and checking the jersey cut-outs he had collected throughout the week.

The avid TNP reader, who has been buying the paper for at least 20 years, said: "I missed quite a lot of other TNP games and competitions, so it was quite a surprise when I won."

SCORE: Operations executive Vijayan Ramasamy, retiree Eddie Koh (above) and customer service officer James Chung Weng Hong were last night’s three winners.

Another winner, Mr Eddie Koh, 67, who relies on a walking stick, did not allow his condition to get in the way of collecting the prize on behalf of his wife, Madam Shirley Khoo. Mr Koh, who lives in Pasir Ris, took two hours to get to the collection point.

"She was quite hesitant to come because it's so far (from our home). So I came instead," said the retiree.

SCORE: Operations executive Vijayan Ramasamy, retiree Eddie Koh and customer service officer James Chung Weng Hong (above) were last night’s three winners.

Earlier, customer service officer James Chung Weng Hong, 54, was the first person to redeem the prize.

Mr Chung, who has been reading TNP since it launched in 1988, said: "I feel happy that I've won. I didn't expect it at all."

HOW TO PLAY

In the Match & Score contest, readers can collect images of football jerseys in TNP from Monday to Thursday.

The jerseys will feature either a number or a country.

New printing technology allows every copy of TNP to include a different combination of jerseys.

Hold on to these jerseys and match them to the winning combinations of jerseys published in TNP from Friday to Sunday.

For example, if the winning combination on Friday is "Spain, France, 11, 23 and 7", and the jerseys you collected from Monday to Thursday include these countries and numbers, you can match them to win a prize.

Yesterday was the first day the winning combinations were published.

There is a daily jackpot prize of $1,000. If there is no winner, or the prize goes unclaimed, the amount will snowball to the next day.

As there were no jackpot prize winners yesterday, today's jackpot prize will be $2,000. There are also secondary prizes of $200 and $100.

Up to $31,000 can be won in the contest until July 10.

Every week, the colour background of the jerseys will change - these jerseys will be valid only for that week.

Winners must collect their prizes at the SPH News Centre, at Toa Payoh North, from 8pm to 9pm on the same day.

More details here. 

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Cellist saves mum with his strings

Music from the cello helped mum out of a coma and aids in recovery from stroke

DUO: Madam Jazz Wong learnt how to pay the cello from her cello instructor son, Mr Hughes Chong.
DUO: Madam Jazz Wong learnt how to pay the cello from her cello instructor son, Mr Hughes Chong.

When Mr Hughes Chong's mother had a stroke two years ago and went into a coma, the doctors said there was a high chance she would remain in the vegetative state.

Mr Chong, a cello instructor, read that music could help coma patients, so he tried it on Madam Jazz Wong and saw her fingers twitching.

He recorded her favourite tunes for her as she lay in the intensive care unit of the National University Hospital (NUH).

Two weeks later, she came out of her coma and as she recovered, Mr Chong would play the cello for her when he visited.

Mr Chong, 28, who has been playing the cello since he was seven, told The New Paper: "I would play her favourite tunes, like Summertime by (George) Gershwin and told her she had to get better and play it herself."

Although she did not recognise the cello, she found it familiar and remembered the proper posture and way to hold it.

Madam Wong, 53, a housewife, had been inspired to pick up the cello after attending her son's performance in December 2012.

The widow did well enough to perform the following year and will take the stage again later this month in a concert, Cellography Orchestra 2016, organised by her son.

She said: "I was intrigued by the sound the cello produces. You get a variation of sounds from different people playing the cello.

"It is also a challenging instrument so I thought mastering it would be useful for keeping dementia at bay."

Getting better was an uphill struggle. Madam Wong's memory was so poor, she would forget details within minutes.

She also forgot how to read music.

After she was discharged, she dedicated her time to interpreting scores and shifting - changing the position of her hand - at a normal speed, as her motor movements were slower.

She said: "My scores are filled with reminders and notes to help trigger my memory, but I would forget everything I learnt on the same day."

Mr Chong said with a laugh: "It was very frustrating for her and she cried a lot. But her short-term memory also meant she would forget about the sadness quickly."

He added that the cello definitely improved her coordination and made her sharper.

She practised the cello for more than three hours daily and was further motivated when her physiotherapist told her to never stop playing.

Madam Wong has almost made a full recovery, apart from minor vision problems and the occasional delayed movement.

She is now preparing for her second performance with the cello orchestra, which is made up of 38 of Mr Chong's students.

DEVASTATED

Said Mr Chong: "She was devastated when she couldn't perform last year and made it a must for herself to join this year.

"She is practising a lot more than my students since she has to keep up. It is definitely a challenge for her."

Madam Wong is determined to do her best.

She said: "I am really stressed and nervous as I do not wish to drag down the entire performance with my slower motor skills. I am practising very hard and looking through the scores non-stop."

She added: "Music has been really therapeutic and instrumental to my recovery. I was able to improve my memory a lot just by memorising the scores.

"I would definitely encourage other stroke patients to give music a try."

"I would play her favourite tunes, like Summertime by (George) Gershwin and told her she had to get better and play it herself."

- Mr Hughes Chong


ABOUT THE CONCERT

WHAT: Cellography orchestra 2016

WHERE: Drama Centre Theatre, 100, Victoria street

WHEN: June 25, 7.30pm

TICKETS: $25, $35, $45 (excluding booking fee) from Sistic

Woman loses $1.2m in Internet love scam

Woman remits $1.2 million to cheat she met on Facebook

It all started when she accepted a friend request on Facebook.

But it eventually made her $1.2 million poorer after she became a victim of a love scam.

Mary, an administrator in her 50s, lost all of her savings and ended up in debt. All names have been changed to protect the victim's identity.

Police said it was the biggest amount lost by an individual in a scam that has seen a surge since the start of the year.

April was the worst month, with $7.5 million pocketed by scammers.

In Mary's case, the scammer, Tom, claimed he was an American engineer and investor.

He approached Mary after adding her on Facebook in January this year.

Dazzled by promises of visits to Singapore, the mother of four developed a romantic relationship with him.

Mary said: "Even after many years of married life, I craved the companionship of a man because my husband was always working and hardly at home."

Her children are all grown-up and working.

About a month into the relationship, Tom told Mary he was coming here to live with her and he asked her to help link him up with local banks and hunt for apartments.

He then told Mary about an intermediary, a Nigerian called John, who would help him bring US$5 million (S$6.77 million) in cash to Singapore.

When Tom suggested Mary meet John to collect the money, John told her that he was unable to enter Singapore due to documentation issues.

John told Mary to go to Malaysia, where he claimed he was based.

"Because I felt like I was in a genuine relationship, I trusted anyone he trusted," Mary said.

John first asked Mary to transfer $6,000 into a Singapore bank account to get some documents processed, and she did.

He then told her that he was stuck at the airport and asked her to meet him in Malaysia to hand him $50,000.

VOUCH

It was to vouch that the purported US$5 million he was carrying in cash was "clean money".

Mary said she agreed because she was convinced the relationship she had with Tom was genuine.

She said she was even willing to leave her husband for him.

She added that Tom also told her the lock combination for the bags, which he claimed contained the money that John would show to her.

The same day, Mary met John in a hotel room in Malaysia, where he showed her a few bags.

"When I opened the bags, there were a lot of US dollars in it," she said.

"It was also the correct combination that (Tom) had given me, so I did not suspect anything and I handed over the $50,000 in cash."

It marked the start of John's continual requests for money and Mary would remit it each time.

After using up her savings, Mary resorted to taking out unsecured loans from banks, and her insurance.

Her family members found out about the bank loans and confronted Mary. She realised she had been a victim of an elaborate Internet love scam.

Her family members told her to make a police report. But she had already transferred a total of $1.2 million by then.

Six-month wait for Gentles Bones gig worth it, say fans

Local singer Gentle Bones finally performs first solo concert here after it was axed last year.

POPULAR: Local singer-songwriter Joel Tan, known as Gentle Bones, serenaded the crowd at his sold-out concert last night.
HAPPY: (Left) Fan Nur Farhana Pa'at (extreme right) felt last night's show was worth the wait. (Below left) Miss Nur Syafiza Shahrin Shan (second from left) was in the front row at last night's show and felt it was amazing. POPULAR: Local singer-songwriter Joel Tan, known as Gentle Bones, serenaded the crowd at his sold-out concert last night.
HAPPY: (Left) Fan Nur Farhana Pa'at (extreme right) felt last night's show was worth the wait. (Below left) Miss Nur Syafiza Shahrin Shan (second from left) was in the front row at last night's show and felt it was amazing. POPULAR: Local singer-songwriter Joel Tan, known as Gentle Bones, serenaded the crowd at his sold-out concert last night.

It was a show that fans had waited six months for.

Local singer-songwriter Gentle Bones, whose real name is Joel Tan, played his first ticketed solo show at the Esplanade Concert Hall last night.

All 1,500 ticketsto the gig, which featured an opening set by electronic music duo .gif, were sold out within 10 days. The tickets cost $25, $35 and $45.

The 22-year-old will stage a second sold-out show tonight at the same venue.

While Tan has had many successes during the past six months, it has been a roller-coaster ride.

His first solo concert, which was supposed to have taken place on Dec 10 here, was axed.

In September last year, he opened for US singer-songwriter Kina Grannis during her Elements concert tour in Asia.

HAPPY: (Above) Fan Nur Farhana Pa'at (extreme right) felt last night's show was worth the wait. PHOTOS: NUR FARHANA PA'AT, NATASHA MEAH

At the first stop in Jakarta, the crew faced issues with their performance permit, which led to a 3½-month detention in Indonesia for him and 13 others.

He was finally allowed to return home on Dec 23.

It did not take long for things to start looking up again. Tan, who is also a business studies undergraduate at Nanyang Technological University, became the first Singaporean artist to be listed in the inaugural Forbes 30 Under 30 list for entertainment and sports personalities in Asia earlier this year.

More recently, his new five-track EP Geniuses & Thieves, released on June 3, charted at No. 1 on Singapore iTunes within an hour of its release.

HAPPY:(Above) Miss Nur Syafiza Shahrin Shan (second from left) was in the front row at last night's show and felt it was amazing. PHOTOS: NUR FARHANA PA'AT, NATASHA MEAH

At last night's concert, where fans sang along to every one of the 12 songs Tan sang during his hour-long set, he addressed the matter.

"How many of you bought tickets for my December show last year?" he asked as fans raised their hands and cheered.

"There was a reason we needed to cancel it... So for those of you who don't know I'm going to fill you in real quick. I'm not trying to pull a sob story or anything but there's a reason why everything including the EP was delayed.

"All along this show was supposed to be an EP launch and nothing else as after the whole Indonesia thing we didn't want to make any promises," he said before telling the audience what had happened last year.

"Thank you guys for buying tickets again," he ended.

LOVE

Not that the fans minded the wait - they showed Tan much love as he serenaded the crowd with his smooth vocals, backed by a band.

They held their phone flashlights in the air and cheered song after song. Tan was just as warm as accommodating, asking everyone to get to the front right from the start of the concert.

He sang a mix of songs from his debut EP Gentle Bones (2014) and Geniuses & Thieves, even asking the fans what they thought of his new music.

"You guys like the new music? The old songs are quite different to the new ones. And this will bid a farewell to some of the old songs and also an official welcome to all the new songs," he said, much to the disappointment of fans who aww-ed in unision as his old songs seemed to be fan favourites.

Student Nur Farhana Pa'at, 21, who was with friends, was one of those who had bought tickets to last year's show.

"I loved the whole atmosphere of it. What surprised me the most was the sing-along from the audience. It really warms my heart," she said.

Polytechnic student Nur Syafiza Shahrin Shan, 18, brought her laptop to school the day the concert tickets went on sale, for fear of not getting seats.

It paid off as she sat in the front row.

She said: "I found the show amazing. It was beyond my expectations. He sounds the same live as he does on the recorded version.

"I loved that he was super interactive with the crowd. Even though he didn't reach down to touch our hands, we were super close and I wanted it to last longer."

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