Sheffield woman wins £1,000 prize for using messenger app - and gives half away to charity

Olesia Tartakovski  with her winnings
Olesia Tartakovski with her winnings
Have your say

Sheffield mum Olesia Tartakovski will help more children of war victims in her Ukrainian homeland this Christmas - after winning £1,000 using messenger app Tengi.

She is giving away half of it to provide books, toys and most importantly clothes for children, many of them left homeless, living in sub zero temperatures.

The rest she will spend on her own two young children, including a trip to see the Christmas lights in London.

Tengi, made in Sheffield, allows users to send free texts, with emoticons, stickers, photos, video and audio. It is described as 'the app that gives back' and 'Whatsapp with cash prizes'.

Its users are entered into a free Friday night cash draw, with hundreds of £5 and £25 winners. But mum of two Olesia won the £1,000 first prize and decided half should go to her favourite charity.

Big hearted Olesia and her university professor husband Alex, both 42, have donated gifts and cash for the past two years to help children of fallen soldiers in the Ukraine.

"It is my homeland and all my family are there. It is in a state of war, with a big gap between the rich and the poor. We are Christians so we are doing all we can to help these children. There is a big network of us all over the world," explained Olesia, of Marlborough Road, Broomhill.

"Tengi is brilliant. A great app. I don't gamble or even do the Lottery. I signed up because it is a free text service and we have set up a group for parents at school. It's a very convenient way for us to talk together. The bonus is it gives away cash prizes every week just for using it. I couldn't believe it when I won."

Tengi founder Neil Laycock, former CEO of internet service provider Plusnet, hopes her story will encourage others to sign up.

He explained how the more friends you have on Tengi and the more you use it, the more virtual tickets you get for each draw.

He said: "We don't sell anyone's data. We make money from advertising and selling merchandise, then give away 50 per cent of our revenue. It's taking the app world by storm."

For more visit, and

Download Tengi from the Apple store at and from Google Play at