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Lottery Winners That Give Back After Winning The Jackpot

Sun 31 May 2015, By Jenny Miller

Forbes contributor Robert Pagliarini says that playing the lottery is one of the best low-cost investments you can make.

He goes on to say that it gives people the opportunity to really stop and think - well, more like daydream.

Most people think about how they would enrich their own lives if they won the jackpot. There are some people though whose generous attitude and approach to life give the rest of us some food for thought. Below are some heart-warming examples of people who have struck it lucky in the winning the lottery and used their new found wealth to help uplift others.

Tom Crist

Tom Crist is definitely first on the list of generous winners and here's why; he gave it all away. Every. Last. Cent. In May of 2013 he won the $40 million lottery jackpot and instead of indulging in a little R&R, the quiet winner decided to give it all away to those who needed it more than he did.

"I've been fortunate enough, through my career, 44 years with a company," he told CBC News. "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."

This company that he speaks of was sold for an estimated $1.14 billion in 2012 according to Reuters, so yeah, he doesn't really need the money but it is still an incredibly generous gesture. He promised to give it all away and so far he has stuck to that promise, setting up a trust dedicated to his late wife of 33 years who died of lung cancer. The trust will donate money to charities that he and his children pick, ensuring that the generous wealth is spread as far as possible.

So if you don't want the winnings, surely you want some recognition as to how philanthropic and generous you are? Not for Crist. He has been very quiet about his donations and projects, preferring to stay far away from the spotlight and not getting personally involved, except on rare occasions. For example, he shared a home-cooked meal with for a terminally ill cancer patient and her parents. The ill patient insisted that he join her and her parents after Crist made her dying wish come true - seeing her parents one last time. The parents were back in the Phillipines and neither parents nor patient could afford to get them over to the states.

Quietly giving back is all he wants to do and he gets satisfaction in bucketloads just from this. "It really does make you feel good, to do stuff like this, and you see the smiles on their faces," said Crist. And this incredible story of generosity makes us smile!

Mark and Cindy Hill

What was the first thing the Hills considered buying? A Camaro car, but instead they just bought a pickup truck. After winning in the $587 million Powerball lottery jackpot in November 2012, the couple became $136.5 million richer, after taxes of course. With this kind of money they could have definitely bought the Camaro, ten times over and then added luxury sports cars to their collection. But this couple's lives have now been dedicated to ensuring that the money "goes to the right things", said Cindy Hill at the press conference. This means giving back to their hometown community of Camden Point, Missouri.

The couple has donated mainly to civic projects like a new sewage treatment plant, a ball field and even the construction of a new fire station, which would have taken 25 years without the Hills. The have also created a scholarship at the high school that they both graduated from. So what is the biggest splurge for this couple so far? Mark Hill quit his job as a mechanic. Everything else has remained very much the same making them truly the exception to the rule of winners blowing all their money and spiralling out of control.

Margaret Loughrey

Lottery Winners That Give Back After Winning The Jackpot - Margaret Loughrey

Lottery winners who give back after winning the Jackpot - Margaret Loughrey

The festive season of 2013 was truly a joyous time for Loughrey when she won £26 million jackpot in the Euromillions. She bought her ticket on the way back from the Job Centre where she was trying to apply for a new job and was living off just £58 a week at the time of striking it lucky.

Instead of revelling in her new-found fortune, Loughrey began giving it away to those in need almost immediately, having given half of the winnings away in under a year.

"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... I spent half of my adult life unemployed and the other half on the minimum wage so I know only too well how hard things can be," said Loughery.

She has been giving away her millions to create opportunities in her local community in Strabane, Northern Ireland. She is of the people, for the people and we couldn't think of a more gracious and heartfelt winner. She told Sunday Life that "everyone has the right to work for a living, to support their families, to buy their own home, to run their own business. People just need to be given opportunities."

And this is exactly what she's been doing, investing her winnings so that jobs can be created in the community and that locals can benefit from amenities. This tale just warms the heart and her benevolent attitude to life is almost infectious. Loughrey may have been the wealthiest female in Northern Ireland after the win but this down-to-earth do-gooder plans to remain humble and she's only keeping £1 million for herself, which is ridiculously modest.

Could you do the same? If you won, what would you do with the money? Could you give it away? Let us know!