Not all lotto winners fantasize about multiple houses, lavish holidays at 5-star resort, fast cars, custom watches and expensive liquor. There are some good souls out there, who view winning the lottery as an opportunity to do as much good as possible and spread the luck around. From a teenager giving most of his winnings to his parents to couples who go on a cause funding instead of shopping spree – there are plenty of examples that prove that people are not all bad.
Colin and Chris Weir
When this couple snagged the highest jackpot in the UK’s history, a gigantic 161 million pounds, they made it their mission to use their money to fund causes that are important to them. This included an £800,000 donation to their local soccer stadium as well as buying a fancy new prosthetic limb for a young teen that lost his leg to cancer. Not only that, but they have also funded several athletic improvement projects, helped a promising young Scottish tennis player get professional training and paid for the refurbishment of a historic paddle steamer.
Sheelah Ryan won $55 million in the Florida Lottery in 1988 she and decided to keep a low profile. She then set up a charitable foundation that provided donations to poor children in need of medical treatment and operations as well as supported low-cost housing projects, financially assisted single mothers and even helped stray cats. Ms Ryan died in 1994 but her foundation, The Ryan Foundation, continues charitable work in her name. “I thank God every day that I have the ability to help others, not that I won,” Ms Ryan used to say.
Allen and Violet Large
In 2010 Allen and Violet Large won an $11.2 million jackpot. At the time, Violet was being receiving treatment for cancer and together they decided to give most of their money away, only keeping $2000.00. Collectively, their winnings went to family and friends, churches, hospitals, the Salvation Army, the Red Cross and the local fire brigade. When asked why they would give just about everything away, Violet responded: “What you never had, you never miss”. Violet’s cancer treatment was successful and they are still together to this day.
Les Robins won $111 million payday in the Powerball in 1993. He was a junior high school teacher at the time, so he founded Camp Winnegator, a day camp for local Wisconsin children. The camp still functions to this day and sits on a 226-acre plot, also bought by Robins.
Of course, this is just a small fraction of all the lottery winners, who have made a positive impact on the lives of those around them, their communities and the world, as a whole. Many lotto winners have decided to remain anonymous while doing their good deeds like the person who left a winning lottery ticket in a church’s collection plate. This happened in 2011 in the US city of Baltimore, where a pastor at a struggling parish received one of the biggest donations ever. The winning lottery ticket was worth $30,000 and was confirmed by the Maryland Lottery Headquarters. The pastor gratefully used the winnings to cover the church expenses and to assist people in need.
Others like a teen from Michigan plan on doing something different: giving most of his winnings to his parents. When the 19-year-old won the $500,000 prize on the Michigan Lottery’s Golden Wild Time scratch-off game, he decided to only keep about $5,000 for himself to invest, and give the rest to his parents.
As more and more people are winning at scratch-off games and lotteries – they are also giving large and small sums towards charities, foundations and their communities. It’s a positive experience that creates opportunities not only for those who are playing, but everyone around them.