QUIRKY WORLD ... A daily look at some of the world’s stranger stories

Two winning tickets to split $636m US lottery

USA: Who needs Santa Claus when you hold one of two winning tickets announced in the $636m (€462m) Mega Millions lottery in the United States?

The life-changing stubs for the second richest pot in American lottery history were sold at a gift shop in San Jose, California, and at a newsstand in Atlanta, Georgia, CBS News reported, quoting lottery officials after Tuesday night’s draw.

The jackpot will be split. The names of the winners were not immediately announced.

Winners in this sweepstake can opt between a one-time lump sum payment or one smaller payment followed by others over the course of 29 years.

Had there been a single winner the one time cash option was estimated at $341m (€247m) — before taxes.

The record jackpot was $656m in Mar 2012. It was split among ticket holders in Illinois, Kansas, and Maryland.

Newly adopted rules shifted the odds of winning from one in 176m to one in 259m.

By comparison, the odds of being struck by lightning in the US is one in 10,000, according to the National Weather Service.

Restaurant job applicant stole from tip jar

USA: Police say a woman applying for a job at a Delaware restaurant stole money from a tip jar.

Rehoboth Beach police say the woman filled out an application at Five Guys last Friday, then took about $15 (€10) from two separate jars.

Police say a review of the application and surveillance footage led to the arrest of Melissa Brittingham. WXDE-FM reports that Brittingham, 44, later pleaded guilty and received one year of probation. She must also pay a $500 fine and court costs.

BEAR HUNT

ENGLAND: Airport staff say that they have identified a family that once owned an antique teddy bear left behind in a departure lounge.

The bear was found — along with a photograph dated 1918 with the names “Dora and Glyn” written on the back in a note to “our darling Daddie” — in a carrier bag at Bristol Airport in Feb 2012.

It has now been established that “darling Daddie” was Nicholas James Baker, a private with the Prince of Wales Volunteers South Lancashire Regiment who was killed in Baghdad on Aug 15, 1918.

His children were Dora E Baker, born in 1914, and Nicholas Glyn Baker, born on Oct 4 1916, from the Abergavenny area of South Wales.

Airport staff now want to trace any relatives.

SWEET SANTA

USA: A Houston hotel has created a half-tonne dark chocolate sculpture of Santa Claus in a chair, complete with elves.

Pastry experts at the Hilton Americas used a special chocolate dough to fashion the exhibit.

It used about €3,500 worth of chocolate containing more than 2.4m calories and took 400 hours to create.

FESTIVE REMINDER

ENGLAND: Fire chiefs have warned against a repeat of last year’s increase in 999 calls from people locked out of their houses after losing their keys during festive celebrations.

Such calls have cost UK taxpayers nearly £10m (€11m) over the past four years in London alone, according to the capital’s brigade, which has attended more than 28,000 such callouts since 2009.

Firemen in London attended almost 7,000 “locked out” calls in 2012/13, slightly up on the previous year, and officers fear the number could rise again.

The brigade said it had dealt in recent years with calls from people locked in toilets, offices, car parks, shops, and even in cemeteries.

REMAINS PROTEST

ENGLAND: Dozens of Druidsattended a colourful protest outside the new £27m (€32m) visitor centre at Stonehenge on the day of its opening.

Protesters travelled from as far as Holland and Scotland to call for English Heritage to rebury remains on display at the Wiltshire monument’s new exhibition.

The group, dressed in flowing robes, held signs calling for tourists to boycott the popular site, banged on drums and sang songs about their ancestors.

Their protest was seen by hundreds of tourists who filed into the much-anticipated new facilities from packed coaches and cars.

SUPER GESTURE

USA: Comic book publisher DC, publisher of Superman and Batman, has bought the artwork by Al Plastino for a 1964 comic featuring John F Kennedy and Superman and is to donate it to the JFK library in Boston.

Plastino thought Superman’s Mission For President Kennedy in Superman No 170 had been donated to the library decades ago.

He died last month aged 91. His widow said the art was very special to him and their family.


Lifestyle

Interiors voyeurism will never go out of style – not least when we’re all confined to barracks and eyeing up neglected corners of our own residences that could do with TLC.Home of the Year: Three doors swing open tonight to offer us a welcome distraction

With (hopefully) better weather on the way along with the longer evenings, gardening and nature offer a nice distraction to the news cycle.Podcast Corner: Green fingers and creature comforts

From Kaia Gerber to Oprah Winfrey, why not let a famous face choose your next read?The 4 best celebrity book clubs to virtually join

The tips and home treatments to stop your skin from backsliding.The Skin Nerd: How can I maintain my skin results at home?

More From The Irish Examiner