a little east of reality

Thursday, October 27, 2005

lucky in need

I found two stories on the same day very similar in theme, though different in the details. They are both examples of people in need getting very, very lucky.

The first story is about a guy in California whose house was ruined by landslide. He had just 15 minutes to gather what he could before his house slid 40ft downhill. All he managed to get was his passport, some documents and his mother's favourite picture - a painting he bought from a garage sale for £50 more than 25 years ago. Then he found out that the insurance wasn't going to pay him anything. He was 74 years old, and he was not having a good month.

But then an artist friend caught sight of the signature on the painting. Turns out it's valuable and he may end with £300,000 at auction. Isn't that awesome?! No house, no money to fix the old one - he's facing some pretting tough scenarios for his future at 74. Then everything changed, just like that.

The second story is about a labourer in China. His daughter got leukemia and he had struggled to pay US$12,000 for her chemotherapy, but still couldn't afford the bone marrow transplant that was her best hope for recovery. Then he bought a lottery ticket and won US$617,000.
Following his win on Friday, he donated 20,000 yuan ($2,400 US) of his earnings to a fund for the needy, Shanghai Daily said.

"It is the welfare lottery that has saved my family. I hope I can do something for other needy people," Fang was quoted as saying.
These stories made me smile. Usually I prefer a story where a person has found a solution themselves, or won a hard-fought victory, but these two men were at the end of their rope ~ struggling to cope with a circumstance they didn't cause. I love the idea that life can bring us wild and magnificent luck just as easily as it can throw us a curve we didn't see coming. Landslide? Leukemia? They must have felt so helpless. I know it doesn't always happen this way...but I'm glad it does sometimes.