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Million-dollar cookies, World Series forgiveness
After 15 years of submitting recipes for the annual Pillsbury Bake-Off, Carolyn Gurtz of Gaithersburg, Md., has finally wowed the judges.
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or the last 15 years, Carolyn Gurtz of Gaithersburg, Md., has been submitting recipes for the annual Pillsbury Bake-Off. But her creations have never wowed the judges. Gurtz’s losing streak ended last week, though, when Pillsbury selected her Double-Delight Peanut Butter Cookies as its winning entry. She wins a prize of $1 million. The difference this time, Gurtz said, was predictability: “The measurements come out perfect. Every time you make it, it comes out the same.” Besides, she noted, “Everyone loves cookies, and most people love peanut butter.”

On Oct. 25, 1986, the Boston Red Sox were on the verge of winning the World Series against the New York Mets. Then Mookie Wilson hit a ground ball to Bill Buckner at first base. It rolled through his legs and the Mets went on to win the game and eventually the Series. For the next 22 years, Buckner was mercilessly scapegoated for sinking the team’s victory. But when the Sox received their 2007 World Series rings at Fenway Park last week, Buckner was chosen to throw out the ceremonial first pitch. The crowd roared its approval, signaling that all was finally forgiven. Afterward, Buckner said he almost hadn’t showed up, fearful of the reception. “I prayed about it, and here I am, and I’m glad I came.”

When Eli Estrada found $140,000 in a bag in the middle of the street in Cerritos, Calif., he was tempted to keep it. After all, he has heavy child-support payments, his landscaping business is in debt, and his financially strapped mother recently moved in with him. But after wrestling with his conscience, Estrada, 40, turned the money over to the Long Beach police, who determined that Brinks armored-truck drivers had somehow lost it. Brinks rewarded Estrada’s honesty with $2,000. “I’ve had people come to me with purses and wallets,” said police spokeswoman Dina Zapalski. “But not like this.”

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