Ramsgate pensioner Albert Renfrew was celebrating today after scooping the FBI’s lucky $25 million prize for revealing the whereabouts of most wanted terrorist Osama Bin Laden, who was killed by US special forces last night. The FBI, whose well-known reward program offers millions of dollars in return for information leading to the apprehension of wanted enemies of the USA, said they were “delighted” to hand over the giant cardboard cheque outside Mr Renfrew’s council flat this morning.
Realising that the FBI had placed no limit on the number of entries per household, and that there was no penalty for an incorrect guess, Mr Renfrew last April purchased a giant AA motoring map of Pakistan, Afghanistan and surrounding provinces, and peppered it with some eighty thousand drawing pins, each labelled “Bin Laden is here”. The CIA have apparently been working their way through the pins for several months, and only yesterday turned to the small town of Abbottabad, a highland settlement north of Islamabad, where Bin Laden turned out to be indeed hiding.
“To be honest, we were starting to lose faith in Mr Renfew’s intelligence,” explained a grinning Major Dirk McQuickly, head of the team that carried out the assassination. “If felt like we’d been all the bloody place following these pins, and after we spent two months trawling the bottom of a lake, a few of us were ready to give up. But all credit to that Kent genius – he knew where Bin Laden was hiding all right, and led us straight to him. How he knew, I’ll never know.”
Mr Renfrew credits his idea to his long experience of newspaper “spot the ball” competitions, where an entry form completely covered in little “x”s was often likely to win the prize. “It won’t change my life at all,” he insisted while being photographed drinking champagne with attractive models for the Thanet Observer. “I’ll still enjoy a quiet pint, and I’ll probably move on to Jamel Ahmed Mohammed Ali Al-Badawi – he’s wanted in connection with the October 2000 bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen – there’s five million for him. Luckily my wife gave me a touring map of Yemen for our first wedding anniversary, so I’ll be getting my pins out later.”