What would you do if thought you’d won an ordinary $59 clock radio in a raffle, opened the box, and instead found more than seventeen thousand dollars’ worth of gold and cash stuffed inside? After you picked yourself up off the floor, I mean.
What if you’d been given it by mistake? What if the money and gold had been a donation to help cure cancer? What if your own husband had died of cancer? And what if, in an ironic twist, your husband just happened to have been researching a cure for cancer with gold particles before he died?
If you take all these what ifs into consideration, it’s probably no surprise at all that Toronto’s Gloria Lee didn’t even consider keeping the valuables after she found them a couple of weeks ago. See, when the clock-radio box was originally sent to the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, nobody ever noticed that the sealed box no longer actually contained a clock radio. (Having never held a gold bar and two wads of fifty-dollar bills in my hand, I can only guess that the combined weight must be comparable to that of a small electronic timepiece.) The box was then stored on a shelf with other donated goods, and eventually placed in the August fundraiser alongside a boombox and a digital compass.
Which brings us back to Gloria and her startling win. “I had no idea that there was something that big in the box,” Gloria told a journalist. “I was in shock. I was in total shock.”
The original donor of the loot is elderly, lives in community housing and doesn’t want his name shared. The note he wrote and packed into the box for the hospital says: “I am unable to bring this. I hope that it will be delivered safely.”
Thanks to Gloria, it was. She believes her husband would approve. As she says in the news story: “He would be proud of me that I continue his legacy.”