Published: 00:01, 16 May 2016
When Nicole Taaffe was just eight, she accepted an unusual wager from her uncle who bet her £500 she would not make it to her 18th birthday without drinking any alcohol.
Now, 10 years later, Nicole is about to pass that landmark and is ready to collect her winnings – and her first drink.
Her uncle, Myles Taaffe, 29, from Rochester, said at the time of the bet the Towns had a reputation for under-age drinking so he, with the help of his family, came up with the idea.
He said: “I thought the bet would go some way to reducing the risk of her getting into the wrong crowd and making mistakes.
“I didn’t think she would ever do it. I just plucked the figure out the sky then she just went with it.
“Her little brother has tried to get her to drink a little bit of her dad’s beers. We’re all really proud of her”
“It was a family bet. At the time she was my only niece. I had lots of nephews so she was a bit protected.
“Her little brother has tried to get her to drink a little bit of her dad’s beers. We’re all really proud of her.”
Nicole, a pupil at Rainham School for Girls, said: “It was just a joke at first but as I got older I took it more seriously.
“Every time I saw my uncle we’d raise the amount of money he’d give me, until it ended up at £500.”
Nicole is studying for photography, philosophy and ethics and geography A-levels, and hopes to go to Bournemouth University to study photography in September.
She said: “When I first told my friends about the bet they all said they’d do the same so it hasn’t been that difficult.
“My little brother, Morgan, has been my uncle’s spy, always trying to catch me out, but he never has.”
Nicole is due to go on holiday to Crete shortly after her birthday and said she would use her winnings as spending money.
Mr Taaffe said he planned to buy Nicole her first drink to celebrate turning 18 – and winning her bet.