The Lottery: Ya’ Win Some, Ya’ Lose Some

December 17, 2013       Patrick Sullivan      

When you buy a lottery ticket you are casting luck to the weather. For several charities it will be sunny skies – another barely has enough for an umbrella if it rains.

A Calgary, Alberta man who won a CA$40 million lottery prize said he would donate it all to charity. Tom Crist hit the jackpot in a Lotto Max drawing, a game managed by the Western Canada Lottery Corporation. “I am happy I won because I can donate a lot of money to charity,” Crist told the Calgary Sun newspaper. “Personally the money does zero for me.”

Crist did not return a request for comment by presstime. He reportedly won the sum in May but claimed it this past Monday, and kept the winning a secret. Crist’s win beat Calgary’s previous record of $30 million, won by a Calgary couple in February, according to the Sun.

After his wife, Janice, died of cancer in February 2012, Crist reportedly set up a family foundation to distribute money to cancer-related charities. The lottery jackpot will go to the foundation, according to news reports.

“I just retired at the end of September so I was fortunate enough in my career to set myself up and my kids anyway, and there was no doubt in my mind where that money was going to go, it was going to go to charity,” Crist said to the Canadian Press.

Meanwhile in Memphis, Tenn., the Stuttering Foundation of America cashed in 200 Mega Millions lottery tickets for the grand total of $18. The foundation received an envelope in the mail containing 200 tickets for this past Friday’s drawing, with the chance to win the $425 million prize. There are 258.89 million possible number combinations in the Mega Millions game.

“I think it’s exciting to win $18. Now that I have been asking people about lotteries, I have discovered that most people never win anything,” said Jane Fraser, the foundation’s president. “It sure was an exciting couple of days at the foundation.”

The foundation received the tickets, along with a note from the donors explaining that 40 years ago the foundation helped the couple’s child with stuttering. The donors wrote that they wished they had $1 million to give, but because they didn’t they sent the tickets instead. Each ticket cost $1. Because no one picked the six winning numbers, the prize has been rolled over to tonight’s drawing, which had increased to $586 million by Monday