Daisy Alexander's will
Comment: Is there any truth to the following rumour? It's used in many
sermons and is found on the Web in various places, but the Singer family
says it's an urban legend.
On a brisk day in 1949, a man named Jack Wurm, unemployed and broke, was
walking along a San Francisco beach when he spied a bottle with a piece of
paper inside. Curious, he broke the bottle on a rock and unrolled the
paper, which read: "To avoid confusion, I leave my entire estate to the
lucky person who finds this bottle, and to my attorney, Barry Cohen, share
and share alike. Daisy Alexander, June 20, 1937."
The will was no joke. Daisy Alexander was a real person. She was born
Daisy Singer, of the sewing machine Singers, and had inherited some $12
million of the family fortune. Two years before her death she had written
her simple will, corked it in a bottle, and tossed it into the Thames
River, near her home in London. Oceanographers believe the bottle made its
way down the Thames, across the North Sea, then above Scandinavia, Russia
and Siberia, through the Bering Straits and into the Pacific Ocean, where
it drifted south until finally, after a twelve-year ocean voyage, it
washed onto that San Francisco beach.
Daisy Singer Alexander left no other will. Jack Worm, who had been walking
along the beach because he was out of a job and almost penniless, got $6
million of Daisy's fortune, and an additional $80,000 a year income from