Christmas has come unexpectedly early in the form of a gift of $100 million (£48 million) from a mysterious donor for Erie, Pennsylvania. The Times

A benefactor identified only as “anonymous friend” made the donation to a group of charitable and non-profit causes putting no restrictions on how the money should be spent, but the town’s community foundation decided to give between $1m and $2m to a host of local good causes.

Mike Batchelor, president of the Erie Community Foundation said only that the donor worked with the organisation for years to identify deserving recipients before the announcement.