20 People Describe Moments When They Had Big, Unexpected Wins

I’m not sure there’s a better feeling in the world that getting or finding something amazing when you were expecting something just okay (or even worse).

It’s like mining for copper and digging up gold, and these 20 people have some pretty great stories.

20. This is a great story.

When I was younger I was super into the WWE and Mick Foley was one of my favorite wrestlers. I happened to be in Orlando at Universal Studios and Disney for a family trip the same time as the Monday Night Raw event that week.

When we were initially trying to plan the trip, I cried and cried for my parents to get tickets to the match. They gave me an ultimatum, the day we were supposed to be at Universal Studios was the same day as the match so I had to choose the match or the park.

I eventually gave in and chose the park because it would be my first time there and I knew my mom really wanted to go too (instead of taking me to a wresting match).

When we rode the King Kong ride, we were the last ones off the ride. Before we walked down the ramp to the gift shop, I stopped because I had to tie my shoes.

At that moment, the next ride car behind us pulled up and a man and his wife and kids were getting off. I found it odd it was only them on the car until I realized that man was Mick Foley. I froze in awe but mustered up enough courage to say hi and to tell him he was my favorite wrestler in the world. I shook his hand and he smiled with that goofy smile (missing teeth and all) and walked down the ramp.

To this day, that was one of the coolest moments in my childhood. So, although I didn’t get to see the match, I got to meet my favorite wrestler and it was way better than any match from the nosebleed could have been.

19. A nice little bonus for doing the dirty work.

One time I took the garbage out and found $50 on the sidewalk.

18. Just don’t sleep with her.

Hired a cleaning lady to help with housework.

Turns out that not only was she an excellent house-cleaner, but she’s also a gourmet chef.

Each time she’d come to clean, she’d whip up a delicious dinner for us before leaving (no extra charge, except for ingredients) – really first class fare, too!

17. Talk about a win/win.

I used to be a recruiter at a staffing agency. We had a major call center to staff and I asked one of my recent pending hires for referrals from her current call center because they paid shit wages and I’m assuming they’d be interested in leaving.

She put my business cards in their break room with no shame. By the end of the month I’d stolen 15 employees and almost put her former employer out of business. I looked like a rockstar at work and got all those people a $3.50 raise. Good times.

16. It never hurts to reach out.

I seen a really sad kid sitting alone at a ball park, and decided to try to cheer him up.

He’s now my best friend, and helped me through high school.

15. That’s quite a twist!

I ran into a woman I’d dated but lost contact with at a bar one night. We talked until last call, and she wanted another beer but couldn’t get one. I worked graveyard shift, and drive by her house on my way to work. Saw her lights on, stopped to give her that beer she didn’t get. She introduced me to her boyfriend who was there.

Long story short, her BF & I became the best of friends, he was best man at my wedding. Still my main man decades later.

14. No point in fighting it.

I went with my friends to adopt a cat (long story short: they were worried about my depression) and I wanted an older cat, about 5-7 years old. That way it would be trained and calm.

As I was waiting for them to bring me one I pointed to, one of the workers was cleaning out a different cage and a young kitten escaped. It ran right up to me and hid behind my back (I was slouched against the wall). I picked it up and pet it for a bit. It then worked its way into my hoodie and arranged itself so its face was between my chin and neck and fell asleep. My friends said, “It is choosing you.”

I asked how old the cat was and found out she was almost 1 but was already trained. So I adopts her. Now I have a 6 year old cat who refuses to sleep alone and still tries to put her face between my neck and chin.

13. What a relief!

I might be too late for this but I applied for an internship after graduating college and rather than giving me the internship the company offered me a full time position instead 🙂

12. Christmas presents for years.

Forced to clean the storage area at my job, promised some extra pay and maybe some stuff the store won’t sell.

Whoever did inventory was shit at it, went home with 5 boxes full of unopened toys, ranging from small Lego sets, transformers and Barbies.

Had probably about a hundred of these toys. Gave it away to relatives.

11. Quite a meet-cute.

I graduated university and had zero job prospects, so I came back as a part-time student so I could get some credits for a professional program.

A girl sat in the front of all my classes. I sat at the back. I stared at the back of her head all year long, but never introduced myself until St. Patrick’s day, when we were the only two to show up to our evening lab. You can drop your lowest lab mark, so everyone in the class opted just to not show. We both were drunk, but we were there, and worked together and got the credit.

Then we went to the campus bar after class and hit it off. 6 years later, we’re married.

10. The truth is stranger than fiction.

I’m sure a bunch of people will call BS on this, and I don’t blame you, I would too. But this is absolutely 100% true (with the exception of the names)

I was doing contract work in 2010 when the economy was actually getting worse than 2008. I was going a while between engagements and money was pretty tight.

Normally I would contract directly, but was working as a subcontractor for a couple firms to keep money coming in. We’d review the requirements and length of engagement and I’d quote a price. Dollars were in thousands, so if I said I’d do something for 25, it meant $25,000.

One day I got a call from Ron, from a firm I hadn’t worked with before. He’d gotten my name from a colleague and after reviewing the outlines of the job and my skills, we set up an interview with the client. It was soon apparent I was their guy, so I was confident. Better still, it was a YEAR-LONG ENGAGEMENT, which meant I wouldn’t have to worry about where the mortgage would be coming from for a while.

I had barely gotten home when I got the call.

Ron: You’re their guy. I’m prepared to offer you 70.

Me (absolutely CRUSHED): Wait, what? 70? That’s a whole lot less than I was hoping to be honest. I don’t know if I take it for that.

It was a TOTAL bluff. I hadn’t worked in 4 months, and $70K beats zero, but this was a year-long engagement and easily worth $100K. And during the engagement, I couldn’t take higher paying gigs (you know, the ones I wasn’t getting).

Ron: I know, but we want you, they want you, and we want to close this today. I promise, this is the absolute most we can offer.

Me: Can you at least do 75?

Ron (sucking air through his teeth): I’ll ask. No promises, but I’ll do my best.

The next morning he called back

Ron: I pushed hard, but I’m sorry, the most we can do is $70 per hour. If you could do that, you can start the moment you pass drug, background and credit checks.

Now remember, there are 2,080 full-time hours in a year, so $70 per hour is $145,600 annually. I practically dislocated my shoulder in my air-punch.

Me: *sighing* Jeez… I don’t … You know what, send the contract.

Ron: Awesome, thanks! I owe you one.

Me: Thanks, I appreciate you trying.

I was on the job in a week. I sent Ron an Edible Arrangement (pro tip: always send food as a thank you.) We paid of the credit cards and kept our belts tight so I could bank money to get my business off the ground. I definitely struck gold!

9. A good story.

My family owns a small mining claim near Utah.

I was out looking for fools gold, and instead found a small geode that I sold to a local shop for $100.

8. I guess that worked out.

I was being followed by a strange man at night, so I went up to the first person I saw and asked them to pretend to know me until it was safe again.

I was only looking for momentary safety but that’s how I met my fiance and he has been protecting me ever since!

7. Fate intervened.

Had tried to get back together with an ex gf, no go.

Too many factors to overcome, wasn’t gonna happen. Thought she was “IT”, but apparently not. Spent about an hour in the car on the way home fuming to a friend, swearing off dating and women for a while. Walking up the stairs to my apartment, I see the door to a lady who had moved in recently. Thought to myself “she seems nice, why don’t you invite her in for a movie or just a friendly hang.

We celebrate 4 years married in a month, and I couldn’t be happier. She tells a similar story, from her perspective. Truly meant to be if I’ve ever heard it.

6. Are they right, though?

Googling the answer to one homework question and finding a Quizlet with the entire chapter’s solutions.

5. Right place at the right time.

Spent a summer as an eBay seller, back in the early days before everyone knew about selling stuff online, so you could strike gold.

At one garage sale, someone sold me a box of comic books for $10. A box of almost a hundred comic books. A box of almost a hundred comic books from the 1960s (mostly issues of Green Lantern and Supergirl).

Wound up getting over $400 for that stuff.

Honestly, I felt bad and today would patiently explain to the person that they really needed to charge a lot more. But I can say that as an adult with a decent job, as a broke college kid for whom a tank of gas was an extravagance that was a godsend.

4. Looting ftw.

The company upstairs from my nonprofit was bought out three years ago, they had to relocate, and were leaving a lot of unwanted stuff behind.

I thought it would be mostly junk, but I scored two decent desktop PCs (with no HDs), a Xerox color laser printer (the kind that uses the crayons), and a super great office chair for my office.

Plus a few reference books on things like Unix, networking, and SQL.

Why not take all this stuff with them? I dunno, venture capitalism is weird.

3. Two degrees of separation.

I went on a date with my best friend’s ex-girlfriend, not really expecting anything, but she ended up being amazing and we have been together for 12 years now.

My best friend set this up, they had only dated for like a month in high school and everything was cool there.

2. A solid pun.

I was in English years ago in 7th grade and I wanted to be funny and get a few people to laugh, so I made a stupid pun (funny to me at the time).

Rather than a few people laughing, only one person did, BUT that person became one of my best friends to this day because of that and if that’s not gold then idk what is.

And the pun I made had to do with a picture on the screen of a guy getting hit by a deer in a pickup truck so the pun was “Hey! That guy got rammed!” Thinking of it now makes me feel so cringe, but hey it was 7th grade.

1. When Harry Met Sally.

I went to a dinner at a friends house, she also invited another friend of hers. I came for spaghetti and left with the woman I married.

We crossed 24 years this September.

I can’t wait until I have a story to add to a list like this one!

If you’ve got a tale, we’re here for it!