World

The news that made us smile this week

Everyone needs a distraction now and then - so here are some of the things that put a little smile on our faces this week.

We hope they do the same to you.

1) This awesome birthday

Picture this - it's your 18th birthday, so how do you celebrate? Naturally, you go down to your local shop and legally buy champagne and a lottery ticket for the first time.

That's exactly what Charlie Lagarde from Quebec did. But her day got even better when she struck the jackpot.

Image copyright Loto Quebec
Image caption Charlie Lagarde won the lottery on her 18th birthday

Charlie made a pretty clever choice too: she was offered a C$1m ($780,000; £550,000) lump sum or $1,000 a week for life.

She opted for the $1,000 annuity because it is not taxed. Enjoy your winnings, Charlie.

2) This family reunion

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionBBC report reunites HK actor with brothers

Anthony Wong is one of Hong Kong's biggest actors (you may know him from thrillers Hard Boiled and Infernal Affairs).

Earlier this year, he gave an interview to the BBC about his father, who left him suddenly when Anthony was just four.

Some impressive detective work done by a BBC reader has now led him to meet the two brothers he never knew he had.

You can read more about their encounter here.

3) These intensely satisfying cherry blossom pictures

It's that time of year in Japan and other parts of Asia, when the sakura, or cherry blossoms, are in bloom for a very brief period.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption This blossom-filled view greeted residents of Busan, South Korea, on Wednesday
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption This was the scene near the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on Sunday

4) This enthusiastic pup

This video may only be four seconds long, but it is four seconds of pure joy (this video won't play if you're reading this story on our app, sorry)

5) The slam-dunk nun

Image copyright Getty Images

This is Sister Jean Dolores-Schmidt. She's 98, and is the chaplain for US college basketball team Loyola University Chicago Ramblers.

She's only now coming to the public's attention because the team has gone on a bit of a winning streak of late.

It's not clear if her prayers, or the informal coaching advice she gives, are what's helped the team the most.

6) This visually pleasing snow

The picture was taken in January by photographer Scott Kranz, but shared this week by the US Department of Interior.

As they explain, the weird effect is caused by rain runnels, when heavy rain falls on a dense snowpack and creates gulleys. The picture was taken in Mount Rainer National Park, near Seattle.

Here's another photo of his from February:

7) This message from an eagle-eyed professor

More on this story