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23. March 2018

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20.03.2018 - Tuesday

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Generous Lottery Winners Part Two


Charitable Lottery Winners

Last week we looked at the story of Jane Park the young lottery winner who became bored and disillusioned with the wealth and attention that comes from a lottery win and instead decided to start giving back. Having bought herself a large house with her winnings she found it a lonely existence, so she put the house up for rent, moved back in with her mother and got herself a job at a local chip shop. Later, touched by the plight of a young cancer sufferer, discovered that she found more satisfaction and solace in giving her money to those deserving, than she ever done spending it.

Jane is not alone , such sentiments regularly crop up in news stories about lottery winners from around the world. Have a look at these other lottery winners, who, having won big, decided instead to give vast amounts of their fortune away.

Man Takes Vow Of Poverty Then Wins Lottery

Ray Cockrum, a 58-year old from Tennessee, won an incredible $259 million on the America’s massive PowerBall lottery, a lottery famous for paying out some of the biggest jackpots of all time.

Now we often imagine a sum like that to be enough to end all of our worries. For Cockrum, however, the win turned into something of a moral crisis. The reason is quite a strange one, actually. See, earlier in life the Nashville resident and former priest had once taken a vow of poverty – something that does not go hand in hand with a personal wealth of over £150 million.

So Ray decided to donate most of his winnings. As a devout Christian from the American south it shouldn’t surprise you that a good chunk went to his church. As Ray was also an actor he also decided to also donate money to the performing arts so that others could have a go at treading the boards as he once did.

Anonymous French Winner Makes Huge Donations To Charity

What can be more unselfish than donating the better part of your fortune, while remaining anonymous?

In early 2014 rumours spread of a mysterious French EuroMillions winner. We knew that he was a man. We knew that he was French, and we knew he had recently won €72 million in Europe's biggest lottery. Other than that, we know very little.

The winner chose to remain anonymous, as many on the continent do, but rumours of a huge donation soon started circulating. It was later confirmed that the winner donated more than half of his fortune, or two thirds according to some reports, to charities working with the disadvantaged.

It also emerged that the man, although wishing to remain anonymous, was annoyed that this choice also meant that the tobacco store where he bought his ticket in would not be mentioned. So he later contacted the media so that the store could get the proper credit for selling him the lucky ticket. Now there’s a man with a true heart of gold!

Former CEO Donates Jackpot

Tom Crist is another lottery winner known for his charitable undertakings. In 2013 he donated a jackpot of $40 million CAD (approx. £21.5 million) to cancer charities, in memory of his deceased wife.

Crist, from Calgary in the west of Canada, is a humble man who shuns the limelight. He insists his donations have nothing to do with getting media attention. He also opts not to get too close to the people he helps because it is still too raw and triggers memories of his wife’s own battle with cancer. He has also helped ill children get the medical help they need and continues to use his wealth to fund cancer research.

“It really does make you feel good”, he says, “to do stuff like this, and you see the smiles on their faces.”

Last month it was reported that Crist had helped a young lady who had been given just weeks to live. All she wanted to do was have one last reunion with her family back in the Philippines, but neither she, nor her parents, had the money to do so. When Crist heard the story he got involved and made it happen.

For Crist being able to use his money in this way has proven extremely cathartic. As the head of his own electronics firm he was already quite well off when he won the lottery, so all of it, and the interest it generates, is set aside exclusively for charitable donation.

The satisfaction of helping others is all he needs, “I don’t need a pat on the back or anything like that. It’s how I am.”

What Would You Do?

For all the shiny jewellery, big houses and fancy cars you might buy, the reality is that most people, when surveyed, have said that their top priority, should they win, would be to take care of their loved ones. While new cars and holidays are always mentioned, so too is charity. And charity often takes precedence.

In fact, it doesn’t matter where in the world these types of polls are made, the results are pretty much always the same. People don’t simply want to help themselves to whatever they desire, sooner or latter it becomes hollow compared to the rewards of helping others. Perhaps it really is better to give than to receive.

Tonight’s EuroMillions jackpot is worth a staggering £47 million. This would be more than enough to allow you and your loved ones to live in luxury for the rest of your lives – while still having plenty left over to make this world a better place. So now’s your perfect chance – play EuroMillions today!