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Desperate father gets 'best gift from heaven'
By Li Jian (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-10-26 05:41

SHANGHAI: He was down on his luck and it seemed that things couldn't get worse.

His four-year-old daughter suffers from leukaemia and all his savings and some borrowings had gone towards her treatment.

On an impulse, he used up the last 2 yuan (US$0.25) in his pocket to buy a lottery ticket and Lady Luck smiled: He won the 5 million yuan (US$616,522) top prize.

The China Charity Foundation, which oversees the lottery, released only the winner's surname, Wang, adding that he was a migrant worker from East China's Jiangxi Province.

Wang, who burst into tears when he received the money on Monday, was quoted by the foundation as saying: "It is the best gift from heaven. This will save my daughter's life."

He got 4 million yuan (US$493,218) in cash after paying taxes.

Last Wednesday, on his way home from a drugstore, Wang stopped at a lottery centre and decided to try his luck.

"I had never thought of buying a lottery ticket. But at that moment I wanted to do something for my daughter, maybe just make a wish."

The wish was closely linked to his daughter the winning ticket was a combination of the seven numbers of her birthday and former hospital bed.

"It is extremely rare for someone to get the 5-million-yuan prize with a one-time purchase," said Zhang Honglin, an official at Shanghai-based China Welfare Lottery sales office.

Wang came to Shanghai to seek his fortune four years ago with his wife and daughter. They lived a simple but happy life selling vegetables in a market until the news of their daughter's illness in May shattered them.

After spending all his savings and borrowing 100,000 yuan (US$12,300) to pay hospital bills, Wang was at the end of his tether and had to send his daughter to his hometown for treatment.

Now, he will not only be able to pay for his daughter's treatment but also help other children who are in the same plight he was he will donate part of his winnings to the Shanghai Foundation for the Handicapped and the Shanghai Charity Foundation, two groups that help the underprivileged pay for medical care and education.

"I hope more children like my daughter can be saved."

(China Daily 10/26/2005 page1)

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