The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

April 26, 2013

Woman, 80, swallows diamond at Fla. charity event

— TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The idea behind the Tampa Women's Club charity event was simple. For $20, you could buy a flute of champagne and a chance to win a one-carat, $5,000 diamond.

Organizers of the Saturday event placed $10 cubic zirconia stones in the bottom of 399 of the 400 champagne glasses. The prized diamond, donated by Continental Wholesale Diamonds, was placed in the last.

The problem? Eighty-year-old Miriam Tucker accidentally swallowed it.

Tucker told local news media that she didn't want to put her finger in the champagne, so she drank a bit. While laughing with women at the table, she realized she swallowed it.

Embarrassed, she had to tell jewelers who were frantically searching for the winner.

Already scheduled for a colonoscopy on Monday, she had a doctor recover the jewel.

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