'I'm bowled over!' Boy who won goldfish at funfair aged four is amazed it is still going strong 24 YEARS later


Swim when you're winning: Paul Palmer, 28, with his pet goldfish Sharky - who has turned from gold to white over the years

When a four-year-old boy won a tiny goldfish at a fairground, no one expected it to live for very long. But Paul Palmer is now 28 years old - and the one-inch tiddler he brought home from Newcastle's Hoppings fair is still alive and well.
Sharky, named after a character in 90s cartoon Sharky and George, has just celebrated his 24th birthday. What's more, one goldfish year is equal to five human years, meaning Sharky has been around for the equivalent of a century.
Mr Palmer, from Gateshead, won the goldfish while playing the hook-a-duck game.
The graphic designer believes his pet's longevity is down to a rigid routine of only ever swimming in two different bowls and eating a diet of fish flakes.
Several years ago, he survived a near-death experience when Mr Palmer's mother Judith found him floating belly up in his bowl, and thought he had died, flushing him down the toilet.

Fin de siecle: Mr Palmer won the goldfish when he was just four years old - and it has now lived for a goldfish century

But determined Sharky, whose scales have turned from gold to white with age, swam back up the U-bend and was fished out.
Mr Palmer said: 'I won one goldfish and my sister Michelle won another so we named them Sharky and George after the cartoon.
'I was expecting to find him dead every morning as a kid because my sister’s died after a few days.
'But every morning there he was and all of a sudden I was a teenager and then 20 and then late twenties. And still he’s here. It’s incredible.
'He’s had a charmed life because mum actually put him down the toilet once thinking he was dead but he swam back up the U-bend.
'He’s part of the family now. We know he’s probably on his last fins, and he’s not as gold as he once was but he seems happy and content.
'He’s grown up with me and I’ll miss him when he finally goes.'
The world’s oldest goldfish lived to 43 and was a comet goldfish named Tish, owned by Hilda Hand, of Thirsk, North Yorkshire.
He was also won at a funfair and was entered into the Guinness Book of Records in 1998, but the following year he was found dead in his bowl, and was buried in a yoghurt carton in the garden.
Most common goldfish live for arou

source: dailymail