International Lottery Winners Who Gave It All Away

Sally Eaves | News
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Let’s be honest. We would all love to be generous and help out charity organizations if we had the money to do so. We’ve also daydreamed about winning the lotto online. For many of us, the windfall would change our lives completely. Some of the biggest international lottery winners donated a large portion of their winnings to good causes. Read further to find out who they are. 

Picture this: you’ve recently won the online lotto with your favourite lottery, and now suddenly nothing is too expensive for you, and all the world’s luxurious are at your fingertips. There are lottery winners who have a lot of greed and never give any of it away to return karma’s favour, but there are also winners out there who are selfless, kind hearted people who want to create a better world. It just goes to show that not all human beings are greedy.  Here are some lottery winners who gave it all away. 

#10 Jim Dancy ($10,000)

Jim Dancy

Even though Jim Dancy didn’t win millions, he still had it in his heart to donate his win. He won $10,000 in the Michigan Lottery Club, but after a while sitting with the money, he got the inspiration to donate it. He gave it to the Greater Kalamazoo United Way. By donating this money he was hoping that these organizations are making the world a better place. 

“I was heavily influenced by my close friend Julie, who taught me to think of others first, and to start thinking about what life is really about. I know the needs of the community are great right now, so for me it was the right thing to do,” said Jim. 

#9 Hilda Floyd ($1 million)

Hilda Floyd

Hilda won $1 million with Idaho’s Million Dollar raffle. Seconds after she received the cheque, she knew exactly what she wanted to do with it. She kept her promise to herself and within ten months she donated more than 90%. She also shared the money with her family, church, and friends. 

“You can only have so much money. You know, what do you need it for? Give it away and make a difference in somebody’s life,” explained Hilda. 

#8 Allen & Violet Large ($11.2 million) 

Allen & Violet Large

Wow! Now that’s a heck of a lot of money right there. We guess you could call this couple brave. Allen is 75 and Violet are 78. They didn’t expect to win, let alone become millionaires. 

They did what most of us would not: they gave away every penny. They helped friends and family out and donated to charity organizations such as hospitals, fire stations etc. 

“We’re not used to that kind of money,” said Violet. “So we wanted to share it with people who treat us well.” Good for them! Let’s all raise our glasses to that. 

#7 Ray & Barbara Wragg ($11.8 million)

Ray & Barbara Wragg

This elderly couple won their jackpot in the year 2010. They spent a few bucks to enjoy the new money they had, but then the majority of their winnings ($8.5 million) were donated to those in need by December. 

“Winning the lottery changed our lives but not us as human beings. We’re still the same, we have made a lot of people happy,” said Ray. Not only did they give to the church and family, but they also helped complete strangers who lacked money and basic necessities in life. 

#6 Tom Crist ($40 million)

Tom Crist

Stop right there. Can you even comprehend how much money that is and what you can do with it? The possibilities are endless! Tom was on vacation in California when he received a call from officials in Canada. His ticket won him $40 million. He didn’t plan on extravagant shopping or a fancy getaway. In fact, not even his golfing partners knew what had happened. He kept it a secret until he returned back to Canada. 

“I wasn’t even sure which game I’d won on, or what the numbers were. I’ve paid for the subscription when I get the renewal notice every year, and then I just file it. Sometimes I’d receive a cheque for $10 or $20, but never in my wildest dreams did I expect this,” said Tom. 

Tom donated every penny to charity to honour his late wife, Jan. She passed away from cancer at 33 two years before his win. He gave it to cancer research facilities. 

#5 Margaret Loughrey ($41.9 million)

Margaret Loughrey

Clearly there is no limit to generosity. Margaret is from Northern Ireland and she hit the Euromillions lotto jackpot. She gave half away to those in need. 

“I know what it’s like to have nothing. That’s why I’m giving it away – I can’t miss what I never had,” she explained. She helped the unemployed find work and invested the rest into Hersman’s Hill and Sion Mills a tourist destination. That way, she created more jobs within the community. What an inspiration! 

#4 Sheelah Ryan ($55 million) 

Sheelah Ryan

Sheelah was lucky enough to win the 1988 Florida jackpot of $55 million. She used her winnings to start a charity helping the elderly and homeless. She called it “The Ryan Foundation”. 

“I think it was by the grace of God I won,” she said. “I realized there must have been a reason. He gave me the money, so I decided to give some of it to senior citizens and the homeless.” Sheelah sadly passed away from cancer a year later, but her foundation live son to make a difference in the world. 

#3 Shaw McBride ($159 million)

Shaw McBride

Shaw says that he found God and, therefore, felt that it would be the right thing to do to give away money to people who needed it most. He donated it to various organizations and charities. 

#2 Chris & Colin Weir ($249.8 million)

Chris & Colin Weir

In 2011, this couple won $249.8 million with the Euromillions lotto. They donated more than 80% of their fortune to Scotland’s pro-independence campaign. 

“Scots aren’t going to vote based on how much money we have given to a particular campaign – they will make their decision based on being well-informed. That’s why we made the donations” they said. 

#1 Roy Cockrum ($259.8 million) 

Roy Cockrum

Roy won the largest jackpot in Tennessee history. He won his massive fortune with the popular USA lotto, Powerball. He set aside a small portion for himself and donated the rest to charities. His vision was to make the world a better place. 

At the time of his win, he was sitting in the waiting room at the doctor’s office for his mother’s appointment. Winning this prize enabled Roy to go back to his hometown and look after his elderly parents. 

“It literally knocked me to my knees. My prayer was simple – ‘Lord have Mercy!’ But life goes on, so I picked myself up, put the winning ticket in my wallet and went to fetch my mother. I walked around University that day with a $259.8 million winner in my pocket,” he explained. 

If you won the upcoming MegaMillions jackpot of €133 million, what would you do with it? Donate all of it? Or half of it? Or spend it all on yourself? Whatever your decision, think clearly about it so you don’t regret it years later. Although, one thing is for sure: donating big money to good causes will never leave you with feelings of regret. It will actually leave you with feelings of fulfilment. 

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