When petrol station supervisor Scott Brown got a call from a woman to say she needed fuel but didn’t have the money for it, it was an easy enough decision.
Have my $10. Come back tomorrow. Pay me for it then, he told Rana last Monday.
That’s Brown’s daily mantra at Challenge Maraenui, the service station near the heart of one of Napier’s poorest communities – that when you can, you help those who need it.
This time, within two hours, Rana was back standing on his forecourt. She was now a millionaire.
She had fuelled her car and then stopped at Maraenui Four Square just down the road, where she checked two Lotto tickets and won on both of the gifted tickets – the first $68, the second $1 million.
Brown, who has worked at the petrol station for 28 years, told Hawke’s Bay Today he regularly loaned money for fuel to those in need. He sees it as the Maraenui way.
People will pay him back when they can, he says, and they always do.
“It’s just my general nature. I’ve struggled and people have loaned me stuff and what goes around comes around.”
Brown speaks fondly of the Maraenui community. He sees it as a true community that has finally had its inherent goodness thrown into the spotlight.
“It is amazing to see people that can come together and just appreciate each other and help each other out.”
Brown said after the call from Rana, he didn’t expect her back until the next day.
“About an hour and a half later I saw her drive past. Then she was straight back here after she had the excitement. She came in and was bawling her eyes out.”
Brown said he was confused at first but after he realised what had happened he was gobsmacked at the news.
“She said I don’t need to borrow any more money from you ever again, I’ve just won the Lotto.”
Brown has known Rana since she was a child and the close nature of Maraenui meant he was aware that the family was facing hard times, he said.
Brown said when Rana paid him back, he told her he didn’t expect any money other than the $10, and advised her to listen to the professional financial advice she would be given.
Napier City Nelson Park ward councillor Maxine Boag said the Maraenui community she lives in was the most connected suburb in Napier.
“People do help and support each other, in a giving way.”
Boag has been a councillor for 16 years and believed that people would “keep an eye” on Rana as she goes through the massive change.
“When one person or family gets lucky it just lifts the spirit of the whole ‘Nui’ because they do all care about each other.”
Extracted in full from: https://www.odt.co.nz/news/national/worker-lent-woman-10-petrol-big-lotto-win