This time last year Maria Murray was broke. Yeah, it happens to us all around this time of year, but this poor woman was facing a really hard time. Unemployed, but occasionally working part-time at a local cafe, Miss Murray was so broke after splitting up with her partner of ten years that she couldn’t even spare the £1 per week she usually spent on the lottery and had to stop buying tickets. Tim Hunt, the 48 year old mechanic and father of the children who broke up with her in June, had offered her a loan to tide her over but she’d turned it down. With Christmas coming closer she explained to her four children (seventeen year old Todd, nineteen year old Rikki, twenty year old Toni, and twenty-one year old Terri) that she couldn’t afford to buy gifts for them. It was a situation that had happened before in their household and the children, understanding that times were hard, said that as long as they had a Christmas card and dinner, they’d be happy.

You can imagine their surprise when they sat down to Christmas dinner and found Christmas cards from Maria, containing £300 for each of them. In what some people are describing as a Christmas miracle, Maria spent the last £5 in her possession on a lottery scratchcard at her local newsagents in Bristol. She bought the card sometime between one and two in the afternoon on Christmas Eve, scratched it and came away one million pounds better off. The jackpot was won on the Merry Millions seasonal scratchcard. Maria has promised her children £100,000 each from the money she won and immediately announced plans to buy the three-bedroomed council house her family lives in and to fulfill her ambition of owning a Mini Cooper.

I’ll be honest with you guys. When I first started writing this (last Christmas) I was writing a story about a selfish fool who spent her last money gambling while denying her children Christmas presents. I didn’t put that article up as I had the feeling I should watch how the story develops before making my final decision. Maria, who has vowed not to let the money change her, returned to work on the 8th of January, serving people at the same cafe for £50 per week. She still expects her children to pay £150 per month rent and board, saying that it’s the best way to make them understand the value of a work ethic. After watching these events unfold I decided I’d write the story up for Christmas 2009 to show that sometimes miracles do happen, but only to those who are mature enough to properly handle them.


36 thoughts on “Miracle

  1. Hmmm. Smart choice waiting on the article. I was thinking the same thing about her playing the lottery, although I suppose five quid ain't enough for presents. Reading that she's not let the money affect her or her childrens' work ethic is fantastic. She, in my opinion, really deserves it.

  2. I think it's nice to hear that sometimes it's someone who really needs the money who wins, and not just some 80year old dude who only wants to replace his kitchen curtains because "he's got all he needs"… :up:

  3. You know the rules Kiran. Ya only get those wishes two days of the year from me and one is in June. :p Come back in five and a half hours when my heart grows three sizes. :up:

  4. Nice story, perfect for Christmas 😀 Having four kids she need that million desperately. Now her kids can get a proper education and can make something out of their lives. Hopefully they will remember how poor they were :up:Merry Christmas both of you 🙂

  5. Hopefully doesn't enter into it most of the time. Kim and I were so broke at one point that we were getting by spending £7 per week and food for both of us. We survived like that for months and will always remember that when we're having a particularly good meal or can afford to get ourselves a luxury. We laugh about it but we'll always be thankful that we're not in that situation anymore, and always be working towards getting ourselves further away from being like that again.

  6. Our problem was that I had gotten a job which paid more, strangely. When Kim moved in I moved from a weekly paid job to a monthly paid (in arrears) one meaning that one week's pay had to last almost nine weeks. After rent and other things like that we didn't have much left. Luckily I knew where to get all the good bargains in our town and that £7 per week went a hell of a lot further than it should do. We survived but could only have one meal a day and a bowl of porridge oats made with warm water in the mornings (got a huge bag in and they helped us loads). Even then we had to sell a few things to stay afloat. When the pay cheque finally came through we were ecstatic.

  7. The same happened to me during 1995. If I had a breakfast, I was going to bed hungry. It lasted for three months, the ones that I will never forget as long as I live.

  8. I survived with 20 German marks per month. It is about 10 eur… The only meal I was having for sure was at my parents, a lunch. I would prepare something for breakfast or for dinner, depending if I needed to go to training or not. Then I changed my life, changed a job and everything was suddenly much easier 😀

  9. Ahh, Struggle Street. I remember spending a week with a cucumber and a loaf of bread once.Wait, that didn't come out right … :eyes: 😉

  10. 1995 really should go down as the worst year for people in general. Not counting wars and plagues, it tends to be the worst year for most people near my own age that I've met. For me it involved a miscarriage for my girlfriend at the time (and if anyone tells me guys don't feel that like girls do again I'll tear their fucking heads off cause it still hurts now), two break-ups, two suicides of friends, seven accidental deaths of people I cared about, one very short bout of homelessness for me and it was also the year I took a second job doing door to door sales (which brought in great money but ate at my soul).Still, at least I wasn't experimenting with cucumbers… :insane:

  11. :lol:That's a nice story, Mik. And I agree that it's good to see a winning going to somebody who really needs it for once!

  12. For me, the bad year was 96…followed by 98 and 99. But not bad at all compared to what's already been mentioned :eyes::ko:

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