oliver swanick guide

Oliver Swanick Guide – Guess Who Won the Lottery?

Fallout New Vegas is filled to the brim with characters that you can’t help but love, characters who have rich and compelling backstories, and there are even a few characters that you can’t help but love to hate. However, there seems to be at least one character in Bethesda, or in this case, Bethesda affiliated projects that players simply loathe and find all manner of interesting ways to kill and humiliate within the game.

In The Elder Scrolls Oblivion, this character was The annoying Fan, a very keen but very irritating groupie that the player would acquire after becoming Grand Champion of the Imperial City Arena.

This then inevitably led to players killing them immediately, leaving them to wait in perilous situations like deep underwater, for example, or taking them to Dive Rock only to shoot an arrow in their head and watch them tumble to their doom. Well, Fallout New Vegas has someone who plays that role too, and he is called Oliver Swanick.

This character is unlikely, and quite frankly, undeserving winner of the Nipton Lottery, where the rest of the town was slaughtered by the Legion, and one single resident was allowed to walk away and live to tell the tale. Oliver immediately comes across as irritating, obnoxious and also happens to run with the Powder Gangers, who aren’t exactly the best bunch in the Mojave, and that’s putting it lightly.

He may be a throwaway character of sorts, but this annoying figure has gained notoriety within the FNV community, and we reckon that even though you’ll only meet him once, the event will serve long in the memory. 

However, you may be wondering about this character’s backstory and his role within the game outside of this event in Nipton. Well, we intend to give you everything you could ever ask for when it comes to Oliver Swanick.

So without further delay, here is our comprehensive Fallout New Vegas Oliver Swanick guide. Breaking down all you need to know about the most annoying man in the Mojave

Who is Oliver Swanick In Fallout New Vegas?

Oliver Swanick is an NPC character that players meet on the road leading to the carnage and destruction that awaits in the town of Nipton. The player will encounter them if they approach the town, following the marked path east of the Town Hall.

As this character was only meant to serve as a gimmick and a foreshadowing of what was to come when players entered Nipton, the interactions and the information relating to this character are limited, but we will do our best. Check it out below: 


Nipton fallout new vegas

We begin with Swanick’s background and what we have to report on is very limited here. What we know is that Swanick was either a resident living in Nipton or a visitor to Nipton, perhaps on business for the Powder Gangers. Oliver is a member of this nefarious organization as he is seen in Powder Ganger uniform when the player happens upon them outside Nipton.

Swanick is not a key member of this organization as if the player interacts with the Powder Gangers and helps them by completing various missions; there is never any mention of Oliver throughout proceedings. 


In terms of appearance, Oliver Swanick doesn’t seem like your typical Powder Ganger. He isn’t a weathered-looking guy, and he certainly doesn’t look tough either. Oliver has a stringy build, fair hair that is slicked down toward his face, wears a pair of reading glasses, and, as mentioned, wears a Powder Ganger uniform. Overall, Oliver looks like a dweeb, and as soon as he starts talking, he fills that role pretty well. 


Oliver Swanick

As we mentioned above, as soon as you meet Oliver Swanick, he comes across as loud, annoying, obnoxious, and lacks any compassion for any of the people that lost their lives in Nipton. This goes some way to showing why he runs with the Powder Gangers.

The player witnesses a triumphant and relived Swanick, who is fleeing Nipton after winning the lottery, and he couldn’t be happier about it. He revels in his success and doesn’t stop for one moment to care for the others he leaves behind. He is a shallow, narcissistic, and generally unlikeable character. 

Where Do We Meet Oliver Swanick?

oliver swanick lottery

The player comes across Oliver Swanick as he is leaving Nipton. His appearance does a lot to help the player establish a timeline of events as his appearance indicates that the purge of Nipton has only just concluded.

When the player meets Swanick, they can ask them what happened or question them about what lottery they are talking about. However, Swanick will give the player vague answers and tell them in no uncertain terms to f*** off if they don’t stop hassling him. After this event, unless the player follows Swanick away from Nipton, they will never see this character again. 

Understanding This Gruesome Lottery

The Lottery is a special mission carried out by the Legion Frumentarii, led by the fearless, Vulpes Inculta. This was a mission planned to send a message to the NCR that no one who is a friend of the NCR is safe.

The Lottery in terms of logistics is just that, a lottery. Residents of the town were all given tickets with a number on them, and when the number was called, they would either be sentenced to death, crucified, or enslaved.

Then for the ‘lucky’ people amongst them, the runner-up would be brutally crippled but allowed to live. Then the winner, one Oliver Swanick, would be allowed to leave Nipton unharmed. If you want to find out more about this mission or the leader of the Frumentarii Vulpes Inculta, then you might want to check out our Vulpes Inculta guide. 

The Inevitable Fate of Oliver Swanick

oliver swanick fate

You may be wondering if you somehow find the inner strength to not pound Swanick into the dirt; what happens to this guy. Well, sadly for you few Oliver Swanick sympathizers out there, he doesn’t play any role in the game from this point onwards.

If you follow Swanick away from the wreckage of Nipton, he will travel to one of two places. He will either go to the Nipton Road Pit-Stop, where he will be murdered by a group of Jackals that inhabit this area.

Alternatively, you can follow him to the Scorpion’s Burrow, where he will either be killed by Bark Scorpions and Radscorpions, or he will run deep into the nest and be killed by the Radscorpion Queen within.

So no matter if you spare this pathetic character or not, he will end up dead pretty quick. When he dies, the body will despawn to relieve stress on the game engine and reduce permanent assets within the game world. 

Dealing With Oliver Swanick

If you decide to kill Oliver Swanick where he stands, let it be known that no one here judges you for that. However, you may be wondering if the Mojave at large will judge you for killing this guy. Well, the answer is no, quite the opposite.

You see, since Oliver Swanick is a member of the Powder Gangers and they as a faction are a morally bankrupt and nefarious organization, you will gain karma from killing this character. So, in short, it’s more beneficial to kill him. Plus, you can take his winning lottery ticket and place it in your High Roller Suite in the Lucky 38 as a fun keepsake. 

Who is Boxcars?

boxcars fallout

When you speak to Vulpes Inculta in Nipton, you may hear them talk about a runner-up prize within this lottery. A prize that doesn’t see the winner walk away unscathed but doesn’t see them killed either.

The runner-up of the lottery in Nipton was spared from the massacre, but their legs were smashed into one million pieces, rendering them permanently useless and unable to walk for the rest of their lives, not to mention the constant pain that comes with that. In reality, if the legs weren’t amputated, they would die anyway, but we aren’t here to poke holes in the logic. 

The winner of this bitter-sweet prize was another Powder Ganger that goes by the name Boxcars. The player can help this character out by offering them Med-X to ease their pain in return for good karma, and they also have unique quests, which are Wheel of Fortune and Booted. 

FAQ Section

Question: What If You Never Enter Nipton?

Answer: Regarding the story, the player will not meet Vulpes Inculta until they deal with Benny in the Tops Casino and meet Vulpes outside. Then when you go to Nipton after this, you will not find the Frumentarii, just a bunch of bodies, wreckage, and people strung up on crucifixes. However, the player will still encounter Oliver Swanick regardless, so fear not; even if you are late to the party, you can still kill this pathetic little worm. 

Question: Who are the Powder Gangers?

Answer: This is one of the first factions that players will encounter in Fallout New Vegas. This faction is made up of a group of prisoners that were held by the NCR at the NCR correctional Facility. However, after a prison riot, the NCR lost control of the facility, and the Powder Gangers were born. They are an organized crime gang that serves as a thorn in the side of the NCR, often attempting to dwindle their numbers, capture their troops, and generally cause mischief and chaos throughout the Mojave for their gain. 

Question: Can You Kill The Legionaries In Nipton?

Answer: Yes, you can. It won’t save any lives of the Nipton townsfolk, as the massacre has concluded by the time the player arrives. Plus, you will be in for one hell of a fight as there are six Legion Frumetarii to take down, including Vulpes, and none of these warriors are slouches. This will cause infamy with the Legion for a while, but in the second act of the game, the slate is wiped clean, and you can play through the whole main story arc as the Legion’s champion. 

An Unlikely Winner, But Still a Loser

As you can see from the information above and the very brief interactions that the player has with Swanick, you can see that although he won the cleansing lottery and was allowed to live, in the end, his luck will always run out.

This is nothing more than a fun gimmick placed in this game by Obsidian Entertainment to show how cruel luck can be, but it ultimately proved to be a very important and memorable part of the early game experience for players.

Oliver is one of the most popular, yet most disliked characters in this game, and in a way, that’s a pretty special achievement. We hope that this guide gave you all the info you were looking for, and as always, thank you for reading Wasteland Gamers. 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top