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Winner donates lottery prize of $40 million: Family completely backs decision

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The winner of a $40 million dollar lottery has donated every single penny of his jackpot prize to charity in his late wife’s name. Tom Crist was having lunch during a golfing outing in California when the call came in. His subscription lottery numbers had won him $40 million, said the lottery official on the other end, according to CNN on Dec. 17.

Crist, who didn’t even tell his golfing partners that the phone call was to inform him he was the winner of millions, just continued on with his outing. He knew right then and there that the money would go to charity.

It was the Canadian lottery that he had won, Crist was in California on vacation when he found out the news. He didn’t tell a soul, not even his grown children. His kids backed their dad completely on his decision once he informed his family seven months after receiving the news.

He didn’t want to tell anyone, but the lottery mandates a picture and announces the news so he had no choice but to tell his family and friends. Crist’s wife of 33 years had died of cancer two years ago. Setting up a charity as a trust where he and the kids can pick the charities the money would go to worked well as a memorial to his late wife Jan.

When Crist’s picture appeared on the Canadian lottery page, he was in a baseball cap and sunglasses, so you had to look hard to see it was him. He’s had a prosperous life and did very well for himself, said the retired CEO of an electrical products and services wholesale company.

He reports that he has enough money so that he and his children will not want for anything for the rest of their lives. Since they didn’t need the money, he decided that charity would be the way to go. Reuters reports that Crist’s company was sold in 2012 for $1.14 billion dollars.

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