NZ starts to feel lucky
Thirty-two years ago today, Kiwis queued outside Lotto outlets for the first time, hoping to net the first-division prize in the first draw of $360,000 ($725,000 in today's terms). Each Saturday night, "The Barrel" would decide someone's fortune with the flick of a switch in the live Lotto draw hosted by Doug Harvey and Ann Wilson. Four people claimed first division that night, each winning $89,952. Two months later, some wag tried a little fraud — sending in a current ticket on which the winning numbers had been cut and pasted with scissors and glue. A year later a Christchurch student who borrowed $5 to buy a ticket became a millionaire. In December 1996, 20 Glenbrook steel-mill workers struck Christmas gold with a $1 million win. Each received $50,000 after religiously putting in $2 a week for tickets for three years. In South Auckland in 2003, someone scooped $4.1m, winning Lotto $150,000 first-division prize twice in the same six-ball draw and then the $3.8 million jackpot with a seventh number for the Powerball draw. A Kapiti Coast dairy owner claimed a "Robin Hood" defence in 2005, telling police he gave the winning second-division ticket, worth $30k, to another regular customer — a man whose wife had cancer. And a Greymouth winner sadly died before cashing in a $250,000 ticket — the win was unclaimed. Rumour suggested the ticket went down with the casket at the funeral. A man in Christchurch in 2011 found an old ticket in a pocket after he washed his jeans. It was in good-enough shape to win him $250,000.
There will be no manholes in Berkeley, California, as city workers will drop into "maintenance holes" instead. And the word "manpower" will be replaced with "human effort" or "workforce", by Berkeley City Council. Nothing will be manmade in the city, but will be "human-made" instead. Berkeley leaders voted unanimously this week to replace about 40 gender-specific words in the city code with gender-neutral terms — an effort to be more inclusive. As expected discussions exploded on social media. "When I was younger, I thought it was really militant of women to correct 'man' to 'humankind' and 'policeman' to 'police officer'. But now I totally get it. It seems really overly PC, but it's so necessary that I think we'll look back and really wonder why we used the terms for so long," says one Facebook commenter. Another says he's brought up his son to say police officers and firefighters. "I agree that language does shape attitude; but doing away with *all* gender specific pronouns such as brother and sister? Replacing them with 'sibling'? That is ridiculous."