A Calgary man has embodied the holiday spirit by donating $40 million in lottery winnings to various charities. The sudden act of kindness, inspired by the loss of his wife, comes little more than a week before Christmas.
Calgary's Tom Crist won the $40 million LottoMax jackpot in a draw on May 3, but didn't realize he won until he was contacted during on a golf trip in California.
"I wasn’t even sure which game I’d won on, or what the numbers were," Crist told the lottery agency. "I’ve paid for the Subscription when I get the renewal notice every year, and then I just file it – sometimes I’d get a cheque for $10 or $20, but I never expected this."
Crist's $40 million jackpot makes him Calgary's largest lottery winner ever. It also makes him one of its largest charitable donors. According to CBC News, Crist is giving all of the money away to charities. Crist lost his wife to cancer last year.
Crist said he plans to put the money into a family trust fund to be doled out to charities he and his kids pick over the years. Charities such as the Canadian Cancer Society and Calgary's Tom Baker Cancer Centre will be at the top of that list, he says.
"I’ve been fortunate enough, through my career, 44 years with a company. I did very well for myself. I’ve done enough that I can look after myself, for my kids, so they can get looked after into the future. I don’t really need that money," he said.
An impressive and inspiring act, made in the honour of the love of his life. Thank you, Tom. From anyone whose family has been affected by cancer, thank you.
Want to know what news isbrewing in Canada? Follow @MRCoutts on Twitter.