Would you give away your lottery winnings, as these seven winners did?
Few people have the kind of financial freedom that allows them to make large donations of cash to charities or people in need. After all, most of us are working (too!) hard to make ends meet. And we buy the lottery ticket in the hopes of winning, so we can free ourselves from debt, secure our future (and that of our children) and perhaps buy our mums a nice gift too. The household income isn’t always large enough to allow for charitable donations…
But some lottery winners have big hearts, and give their winnings away to those who need it. They’re quite an inspiring bunch! Take a look:
1. Tom Crist
Tom was enjoying a holiday in California when he got a call from the lottery office in his home country of Canada. They told him that his lottery ticket had won him $40 million. Tom thanked the officials for the good news, but kept it under wraps. When he got home, he donated it all to charity and to cancer research firms in honour of his wife Jan, who had battled cancer and passed away a few years before Tom’s lucky break.
2. Hilda Floyd
Hilda won US$1 million in the Idaho Lottery’s Million Dollar Raffle. She donated almost all of her prize money to charities, family who needed financial aid, and also the church. And she admitted in press interviews that this had always been her intention. She figures that one only needs a certain amount of money to be happy; the rest is superfluous and could easily help others out of their own dire circumstances.
3. The Larges
Allen and Violet Large were in their seventies when they discovered they’d won over $11 million in the lottery. But they decided the “rock star lifestyle” was overrated. So they donated the winnings – all of it – to family who needed it, as well as various other public organisations, such as the local fire station.
4. Roy Cockrum
Cockrum won an eye-watering $259 million in the Tennessee Powerball lottery. He got the call confirming his winnings while sitting in a doctor’s waiting room with his aging mother. He spent a small portion of the winnings moving back home to take care of his parents. But he donated the rest of his winnings to various charities and organisations.
5. The Wraggs
Ray and Barbara Wragg won a UK lotto Jackpot of almost £7 million. They splashed out a little, but donated the majority of their winnings to those in need, be it family, friends, charities or hospitals. They keep playing the lottery, in the hopes that they’ll get lucky again, because – as Barbara put it – they would love to be able to help more people.
How much is enough?
Researchers have wondered if there’s such a thing as having “too much” money. And there is, indeed a correlation between the sum of money and the money-holder’s joy (somewhere around $75 000 a year, they say). When you earn less than this, you’re probably not as happy as you’d like to be. But if you earn much more than this, you’re also not much happier.
Because after a certain point, your cash starts to become a source of stress, anxiety and discontent. When there’s “more than enough” money, managing it becomes a stressful, unhappy task. And the potential for reckless spending increases, with a risk for bankruptcy.
So maybe these generous lottery winners inherently understand that money buys (only a little) happiness.
If you’re a generous soul, and you are enthralled by the idea of winning millions just so you can give them away to those in need, play the lottery today.
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