If you're like most lottery winners, a house, a trip and a new car are first on your buy list. But a growing number of winners are doing something quite different with their funds...
They are giving it away.
Meet these 11 people who have given large sums of their winnings to charities, hospitals and local organizations - because they want to.
Last year a British couple, Colin and Chris Weir, won the highest jackpot in the country's history - 161 million pounds (over US$257 million). Chris said "We have both always wanted to see the Great Wall of China and Colin would love to stand at the foot of Ayers Rock in Australia." But they have also used their money to fund many good deeds like the prosthetic limb for a young teen who had lost his leg to cancer. Photo: metro
In 2010, Canadian couple Allen and Violet Large won a $11.2 million Lotto prize. Violet Large was having treatments for cancer, and the couple decided to give away most of their fortune to family, friends, hospitals, churches, the Red Cross, the Salvation Army and even their local fire department.
Ray and Barbara Wragg from Sheffield, England, won over $15 million (U.S.) in 2000 and have given away almost all of that ever since, mainly to hospitals. Photo: The Sun
A struggling Baltimore parish received a surprising donation when a Maryland Lottery Cash Craze Crossword scratch-off for $30,000 arrived in the collection plate last year.
The ticket, which was already scratched revealing the win, was discovered by the church’s pastor when tallying the day’s contributions.
"We have a lot of people in need,” the pastor said.
“Hopefully, we can give some back, especially since this is the way we received it.”
When Sheelah Ryan won $55 million in 1988, she was besieged by the press, along with unsolicited investments and even got marriage proposals. Ryan, however, kept a low profile, and instead started the Ryan Foundation. Her foundation provided countless charitable efforts, everything from paying overdue rent for single mothers and helping stray cats, to supporting low-cost housing projects. Ryan died in 1994, but her foundation lives on to continue charitable work in her name.
Shaw McBride won $159 million in Georgia in 2009, and announced at a press conference that money only buys possessions. He was planning on donating all of his winnings to those in need.
Compared to some other jackpots, Jim Dancy's $10,000 prize from 2009 seems a little small. But after talking to friends, the Michigan man (center) decided to donate the whole thing to the Kalamazoo United Way. The president of the KUW called the donation "an act of incredible kindness and generosity."
Idaho’s Hilda Floyd won $1 million in 2011 and has given most of that away to her family, her church and charitable organizations.