Winning lottery tickets help church hit the jackpot

7:42 AM, Aug 10, 2011   |    comments
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NBC -- An Atlanta church has received an unusual donation three winning lottery tickets dropped in the collection plate over the course of two days.

At this Cobb County church, they're learning gifts sometimes come in thought-provoking packages. Like so many other places of worship, Unity North Atlanta Church has faced its economic challenges. The offering plate has been a little lighter of late.

Rev. Mercedes Guzman of Unity North Atlanta Church says "we know prayer is a beautiful force that can transform everything. And we see now we were heard."

Their prayers prompted an act of generosity, that came in a most unexpected form. Inside an envelope a church member offered two Keno tickets, worth over $3,000. Turns out lady luck wasn't finished with him or the church. The next day he was back, with another winning ticket worth close to $1,000.

Church member Wendy Beck says "he made the comment, like, 'Don't get me wrong, I could use it.' But he's like, 'That's not what this is about.'"

He's asked the church to keep his name private.

But he's not finished. He's told church members he plans to keep on buying the lottery tickets until he can pay off the mortgage here: $2.7 million.

The timing of the lucky lotto gifts is perfect. The method of winning is not something the church condones.

Rev. Richard Burdick of Unity North Atlanta Church says "we're not supporting anybody to go out and gamble. You know, that's a risk we don't support in our ministry. However, a gift is a gift."

They've hit a jackpot of generosity.

Church member Dixie Smith says "we ask for miracles, we believe in miracles, and to have a miracle come that way is just amazing."

NBC

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