In Brief

Woman ‘cursed with cancer’ after stealing items from Pompeii

And other stories from the stranger side of life

A woman who stole pieces from the ancient Italian city of Pompeii has returned the fragments 15 years later with a letter explaining how they brought a “curse” to her life. The unnamed Canadian woman said she visited the Archaeological Park of Pompeii when she was “young and dumb”. Since she took the mosaic tiles, parts of an amphora and a piece of ceramic she has had a string of misfortune, including two bouts of breast cancer.

Man wins lottery twice in one day 

A man in Michigan struck lucky twice when he won a $1 million (£766,235) lottery jackpot on the same day he won a $5,000 (£3,831) prize. The 24-year-old said that after he won $5,000 from a Super Bonus Cashword scratch-off ticket he was “still feeling pretty lucky,” so he “bought a couple Ruby Mine tickets and hit $1 million”. He plans to buy a new home and a new car.

Huge pumpkin wins California contest

A pumpkin weighing 2,350 pounds (1,066 kilograms) has won this year’s Half Moon Bay pumpkin contest. Travis Gienger’s specimen was the second-heaviest ever weighed at the 40-year-old California event. The heaviest of all time was recorded in 2018 when a grower in New Hampshire produced a pumpkin weighing more than 2,500 pounds (1,134 kilograms).

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