Source: Shutterstock

Man Spends Last Money for Kids’ Food on Lottery and Loses, Gets $630K for Son’s Treatment Next Day — Story of the Day

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By Roshanak Hannani
Jun 11, 2022
11:00 P.M.

Charlie Sherman desperately needed money for his kids' dinner but decided to buy a lottery ticket in the hopes of earning money for another pressing need. However, he lost and went home in defeat. But the following day, a letter arrived with a check and a startling message.


Charlie's hands shook as he gave some of his last few dollars to the store owner. He was buying a lottery ticket, though he knew he shouldn't. He was hanging on to that tiny hope of earning enough money to help all his children. He was willing to take the risk.

He had three children to take care of — Katie, Benjamin, and Christian, who was sick. He had lost his wife, Hannah, during childbirth. It was a terrible time for their family. However, things got even worse.

Charlie worked in construction and hoped to earn enough. | Source: Pexels


Charlie worked in construction and was looking forward to a big project with extra hours that would help him raise enough money over time for Christian's medical bills and his outstanding debt. Unfortunately, he was injured on the job and couldn't work any longer. He was waiting to collect his disability benefits from the government, but it was barely enough to keep his family afloat.

"That's odd. Why didn't he leave it in the mailbox?" he asked himself, closing the door and opening the letter.

Now he was down to his last few dollars for the month and his kids needed something to eat for dinner that night. When he passed by a major convenience store in Virginia and saw the opportunity to earn big money on a scratch-off lottery ticket, he decided to test his luck out of desperation.


He bought one ticket and nervously scratched it with a coin to see the outcome. He closed his eyes in pain when he saw that he had lost. "Jesus," he breathed, and the store owner, Mr. Salinger, looked up. They had known each other because his shop was a staple in their neighborhood.

He went to Mr. Salinger's store for food but decided to buy something else. | Source: Pexels


"You can try with another one, Mr. Sherman," he offered.

"I really shouldn't. I have to buy food for my kids," Charlie replied, his mouth turned down in despair.

"Well, you never know what could happen," the owner urged with a curious smile.

Charlie took the bait and got another ticket. Sadly, this one was another loser, and he didn't have any more money. He went home in defeat and shame, thinking how stupid he was for risking his last few dollars which he could have put to better use by buying his children some ramen.

"I'm a terrible father," he told himself as he arrived home. His neighbor, Susy, was kind enough to watch the kids sometimes, but she was busy most of the time, and she left as soon as Charlie arrived.


Susy brought him some pancake mix so he could make breakfast for his children. | Source: Pexels

Fortunately, Charlie managed to scramble some things together from his pantry and make dinner for his children. But everything was running low, and he didn't know if his benefits would come in time to buy them something in the following days.


The following day, Charlie also managed to make something for the kids because his neighbor brought them a pancake mix. She had seen the state of his pantry last night, and although he felt embarrassed, he was so thankful to her.

He was watching his kids eat and giving Christian his milk when the doorbell rang. It was a special delivery, but the man only gave Charlie a letter.

"That's odd. Why didn't he leave it in the mailbox?" he asked himself, closing the door and opening the letter. But he almost dropped it quickly from the shock.

The letter contained something shocking that Charlie couldn't believe. | Source: Unsplash


There was a check for $630,000 inside it. It was addressed to him. But it didn't make sense. He didn't have family and had no idea who would send him that money. Could this be some sort of new mail scam?

He also noticed another paper, and it contained a message. It was from Mr. Salinger, who had decided to help him out after Susy told him what he was going through.

"Earning money is important, but I also believe in giving back to my community. Please, accept this and help your children. If you ever see someone else in need, do the best you can to help them out. That's how you'll repay me," Mr. Salinger wrote, and he included a new lottery ticket.


Christian got better, thanks to the money, and Charlie hoped to pay it forward one day. | Source: Pexels

Charlie cried as he scratched the lottery ticket Mr. Salinger had given him. To his surprise, he won $50, and he smiled through the tears. He couldn't believe Mr. Salinger had been so generous, giving him precisely the amount of money that would settle his debt with the hospital and get Christian everything he needed to recover.


Months later, his baby got better and Charlie made sure to buy everything he needed from Mr. Salinger's store, hoping to repay the older man's kindness in the future.

What can we learn from this story?

  • Help sometimes comes from the most unexpected person. Charlie couldn't believe that Mr. Salinger would help him out after learning of his struggles, but he hoped to repay it at some point.
  • Never give up when it comes to your children. Charlie did not give up despite his struggles and kept going for his children because they needed him the most.

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