In history, many lotte winners have used their prize money to do good, both for society and themselves. Thus, winning jackpots should not be taken as fun only but as good fortune to help others. Though there are numerous inspirational stories where people have won mind-blowing money, we have listed a few that touched people’s heart and mind the most.
Florida’s residents left a good work legacy with the lottery winnings
In 1988, Sheelah Ryan worked as a real estate agent in Seminole. She won a big lottery that time and won around $55 million. This was the largest payout for a single person in American history. Unfortunately, she passed away after five years after the day she won. She left behind a good work legacy in the form of a charity named Ryan Foundation that still lives and continues to do good work.
When Ryan won, she was a widow and decided that the money must be used to do good instead of buying luxury for herself. She along with her accountant friend Pamela O’Hab started an organization for the underprivileged granting low-cost houses or helping children who needed unaffordable operations.
A single mother’s life-changing win
Cynthia P Stafford was a single mother of five children who belonged to her brother who was killed in a hit and run case. She also helped her father to meet daily expenses. Though she felt money tighten in 2007 and the house where she lived with her five children seemed too small. She struggled to pay bills and dreamt to win big in the lottery to support her family well. When the time favoured her, she not only won a lottery but a jackpot prize amounting to $112 million.
In 2004, the number 112 million dollars popped into Stafford’s mind and she started focusing on winning it. She tried many ways including sleeping with the number note under her bed and visualizing how her life would change with it. Surprisingly, three years later, she won the exact amount in a jackpot. Stanford gives her hopes and prayers all the credit for her prize and tackled her family’s financial problems. She even started a film company so she could flourish in her dream career.
Kutey’s honor their parents with a dream park
In 2011, John and Linda Kutey won a lottery pool worth millions of dollars with which they did two things; supporting their community and honoring their parents. The couple went to the village hall in their hometown on New York’s Green Island. When they asked the mayor about how they could help the city, his answer was a water park. With this, John and Linda donated $200,000 to build a spray park available to families and kids to cool down during summers. Since the cost of building the park was high, they teamed with two other local businessmen. To fulfil their second wish, the Kuteys built the park in their parent’s name which was opened to the public in July 2013.
Cowboy saved his ranching with a Powerball jackpot
Neal Wanless, at 23 years old, was having a rough time in 2009. The cowboy was struggling to afford basic ranch maintenance, was overdue on his property taxes and was attempting to generate a little additional money by selling scrap metal. In Todd County, South Dakota, one of the least wealthy regions in the country, he was among the poorest ranchers. Neal decided to take a chance and invest a little amount of his hard-earned money in a Powerball ticket.
He chose numbers from family members’ birthdates and spent $5 on five plays. When he won one of the largest Powerball prizes in history, that gamble paid off. The lump-sum payout was ultimately around $88.5 million after taxes. Neil said that he will continue to work on his ranch and also put some part of his winnings to help people in his community.
School teacher used jackpot money to make children happy
Les Robins was a school teacher in 1993 but was facing hard luck at that time which made him buy a Powerball ticket at the local Sentry store. He watched the draw result in the evening and joked with himself that he won just one dollar. However, after taking a close look at the numbers, he found that he scored a jackpot worth $111 million.
After winning, Robins decided to use the money to create his camp and bring happiness to children. He founded Camp Winnegator with his lottery money on 226 acres of land. It operated for more than a decade and provided children with a low-cost place to visit for joy. Children could participate in swimming, horse riding, and playing on lakes besides making real-life friends.
Paul and Sue Rosenau used to fight the disease that killed their granddaughter
In 2008, Paul and Sue Rosenau won $181.2 million from a Powerball lottery, five years to the day their granddaughter dies due to a rare disease. Makayla had Krabbe disease which was considered incurable and affected only one out of a million newborn babies. This is the reason the disease went unnoticed as it was uncommon. The symptoms included degenerative illness attacking the nervous system and resulting in death within the first two years of birth. When Paul and Rosenau won the prize money, they founded The Legacy of Angels which increased awareness about the disease so that more funds could be raised for making research to treat and cure the patients.
A man donated jackpot money to fight a disease that killed his wife
In another incident, a man won big prize money in a Canadian lottery worth $40 million which he decided to use wisely. He donated the entire amount to fight a disease that killed his wife. Tom Crist won the lottery in a Lotto Max draw in 2013. This was two years after he lost his wife due to cancer. When he won the jackpot, he was retired and all his adult children were doing well so Christ decided not to keep any money for himself. After the after-tax deduction, he donated a huge amount of money to a cancer charity in Calgary to support his idea.
Pearlie Mae Smith’s family used their jackpot money to improve the city
Perlie Mae Smith and her family knew the significance of giving back to the community where they lived. In 2016, Smith and her seven adult children won a whopping $429.6 million in a Powerball jackpot. They decided to give away ten per cent of their winnings to the church, take vacations and help the community to improve. Although the amount they won was quite big, the money was split equally among the eight family members while none quit their job. One of the daughters works to mentor other women and uses the money earned to fund a program.