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Lottery winner gives away millions

Mega MillionsMega Millions: Lottery winner gives away millions
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Practitioner of visualization and meditation techniques won $112 million

As twists of fate go, Cynthia Stafford has been dealt some doozies.

In 1999, Stafford's younger brother was killed in a car accident, and the state of California placed his five children in foster care. Cynthia would have none of that: She applied for?full custody of her nieces and nephews, ages 3 to 10, and though the state initially fought her, Stafford prevailed and became an instant mother to five children — a full-time job that left her no choice but to leave her position as a consultant in order to dedicate her life to raising them.

Simply to survive, she knew she needed help. So she applied to a variety of social service agencies and nonprofits. And yet, even while she was a full-time mom, Stafford kept her eye on bigger things — including her goal of always helping charities at the same time that they were helping her.

As far-fetched as it may seem to many, Stafford had long been an active practitioner of?visualization and meditation techniques in her personal life, and she set her sights on a better life. She set her sights on winning?a very specific amount of money in the lottery. Enough money to support her family along with any charity she could ever dream of supporting. The dollar amount, she says? $112 million.

It took only four months. In May of 2007, the Los Angeles resident bought a two-dollar ticket in the California Mega Millions lottery with her father and brother. They won her dream amount — $112 million — and together decided to take the cash payout of $67 million and split the money. When her winning numbers came in, everyone she knew was surprised except her. After all, Stafford knew what she was going to do with the winnings.

"I wanted to help the same charities I'd already been donating to," she tells Tonic. "I picked each charity because I believe deeply in their missions, goals and forward-thinking initiatives, and all have causes which are near and dear to my heart." They include UNICEF and Kids in the Spotlight, which teaches inner city and foster kids how to tell their stories through film, and the Natural Resources Defense Council. She also donated $1 million to the Geffen Playhouse to fund a program designed to expose children to the arts.

All in all, she quickly became known as one of California's top philanthropists.

Sheer dollars aside, her giving was nothing new. Stafford's charitable streak runs deep. When she was just five years old, Stafford started to donate her allowance to UNICEF. "It might not have been enough to end world hunger, but my mother always taught me that there is more joy in giving than in receiving," she says.

Eye on the Prize

Over in her professional life, there's no grass growing under Stafford's feet, either. After her lottery win, she launched Queen Nefertari Productions — determined to seek out projects and stories to be made into movies that inspire people. Her first step as newly-minted movie producer was to option Don DeLillo's novel White Noise, but she says she will continue to give money to charities regardless of whether a movie turns a profit, or loss. "I'll continue to give as I always have, when my spirit moves me," she says. "I would never want box office receipts to determine the amount I give, since giving should come from the heart. I can be certain, however, that the more I make, the more I intend to give."

It's obvious that no matter which direction Stafford heads in, there's no slowing down, especially when she sees first-hand the effects that her gifts have on people. She recalls the time a group of juvenile detainees had been brought to see a play at The Geffen Playhouse as part of the education outreach program she'd funded. "A group of girls approached me after the show and tearfully thanked me for making it possible," she remembers. "None of them had ever seen live theater before, and they had no idea what it was like. They were so inspired! I could tell that their lives had forever been changed."

Don't Wait

While Stafford wouldn't necessarily advise wanna-be philanthropists to rely on a winning Pick Six ticket to fund their charitable ways, she does have a slew of suggestions for people who want to follow in her footsteps.

"If you want to do good for others, start now," she says. "Don't wait for the perfect time, because it doesn't exist. Don't wait until you have a certain amount of money in the bank, because giving back is not all about money. You can always give of yourself, your time, your services, your energy, and your talents. Whatever you have that you have been blessed with, use it to be a blessing to someone else. Don't hold back because it will return to you. As you give so shall you receive ... tenfold."

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News story photo(Click to display in gallery)

Tonic

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43 comments. Last comment 4 years ago by lottocalgal.
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MADDOG10's avatar - smoke
North Jersey
United States
Member #5709
July 18, 2004
17538 Posts
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Posted: April 1, 2010, 8:55 am - IP Logged

Inspiring...!

                                                          Your Best Teacher, is Your Last Mistake.


    United States
    Member #1630
    June 7, 2003
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    Posted: April 1, 2010, 9:49 am - IP Logged

    Inspiring...!

    She is inspiring, may God bless her for all that she is doing for others!!!!!

      Tenaj's avatar - michellea
      Charlotte NC
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      June 18, 2005
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      Posted: April 1, 2010, 9:55 am - IP Logged

      Hurray!Congratulations to her and Congratulations to the people who are fortunate enough to have her in their life.

      takeemtothebank

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        scarborough maine
        United States
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        March 7, 2008
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        Posted: April 1, 2010, 1:01 pm - IP Logged

        saw her story on the lottery show, how the lottery changed my life.

          Avatar
          Atlanta, GA
          United States
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          March 13, 2003
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          Posted: April 1, 2010, 1:09 pm - IP Logged

          ".....As far-fetched as it may seem to many, Stafford had long been an active practitioner of visualization and meditation techniques in her personal life, and she set her sights on a better life. She set her sights on winning a very specific amount of money in the lottery."

           

          She's one determined and dedicated woman .... huge congratulations to her for all she's achieved.  She's living proof what you hold in your mind and work toward creates reality.  Party

          Good luck to everyone!

            ThatScaryChick's avatar - AbnSTiA

            United States
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            November 21, 2007
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            Posted: April 1, 2010, 2:43 pm - IP Logged

            Mrs. Stafford seems to be a very loving and generous person. It is a very inspiring article indeed.

            "No one remembers the person who almost climbed the mountain, only the person who eventually gets to the top."

              maringoman's avatar - kobold
              Massachusetts
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              April 14, 2006
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              Posted: April 1, 2010, 3:11 pm - IP Logged

              Now thats some practitioner of visualization and meditation techniques.

              I wish I could visualize friday nights mega millions jackpot winning numbers

              hahaha that would be nice.

                dpoly1's avatar - driver
                PA
                United States
                Member #66141
                October 16, 2008
                1434 Posts
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                Posted: April 1, 2010, 3:33 pm - IP Logged

                This is a story of true charity and how individuals should have the choice of how they share the wealth!

                Should I be fortunate enough to win a large sum of money in the lottery ... I will donate to worthy causes as I deem that any donation will have the biggest possible impact.

                US Flag

                  Rick G's avatar - avatar 1766.jpg
                  FEMA Region V Camp #21
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                  Posted: April 1, 2010, 3:58 pm - IP Logged

                  Great article! 

                  Book recommendation:  "Spontaneous Healing of Belief:  Shattering the Paradigm of False Limits" by Gregg Braden.

                  Posted 4/6:  IL Pick 3 midday and evening until they hit:  555, 347 (str8).


                    Kola's avatar - msq003
                    Perpetual Newbie

                    United States
                    Member #28945
                    December 25, 2005
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                    Posted: April 1, 2010, 6:10 pm - IP Logged

                    Great article! 

                    Book recommendation:  "Spontaneous Healing of Belief:  Shattering the Paradigm of False Limits" by Gregg Braden.

                    Beautiful story!
                    And yes Rick G, I have most of Gregg Braden's books and he's terrific...

                    According to Lottery Lore, there was only one riddled phrase found in the ancient Pick 3 Codex The Scroll of Harmony: "In the Beginning was the Point." The Lottery LoreKeepers then intuited the rest and charted the Point's evolution through TIME. "The point(1st draw) was born, began to grow, and in its adolescence became the line(2), knew young adulthood in the triangle (3), stable maturity by the square(4), older age as the pentagon(5), and embraced death in the hexagon(6). This is the numerical circle of lotterological life and it is Immutable; For as the Point seeds, flowers, and fruits, it is changed but essentially unchanged, forever rising in ReBirth (7)."

                      THRUST's avatar - f35l

                      United States
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                      March 16, 2010
                      397 Posts
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                      Posted: April 1, 2010, 6:51 pm - IP Logged

                      I read about her a while back...it is what keeps me playing and hoping.

                      Wonderful story & Lady.

                      Smiley

                      $1,000,000

                        rdgrnr's avatar - walt
                        -Ridge Runner- Oracle of the Appalachians
                        Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
                        United States
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                        April 28, 2009
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                        Posted: April 1, 2010, 10:10 pm - IP Logged

                        She seems like a good hearted lady.

                        The only thing I would have done different is the direction. Arts, Schmartz. Kids don't need Arts so they can turn out like Mapplethorpe and Sean Penn and Al Franken and all those other freaks of nature.

                        I would have gotten them into nature and hunting and shooting and fishing and survival and learning how to grow their own food and such. We don't need more people putting crucifixes in vials of urine or pictures of Mary with dung splattered on them and calling it "art". Screw art.

                        It's even more important to learn things that really matter in the current environment in this country and the way we're headed.


                                                                     
                                             
                                                                 

                         

                         

                         

                         

                                                                                                                           

                        "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"

                                                                                                                    --Edmund Burke

                         

                         

                          jrosina's avatar - ffdd38 1.jpg
                          New York,
                          Panama
                          Member #73078
                          April 4, 2009
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                          Posted: April 1, 2010, 10:29 pm - IP Logged

                          She seems like a good hearted lady.

                          The only thing I would have done different is the direction. Arts, Schmartz. Kids don't need Arts so they can turn out like Mapplethorpe and Sean Penn and Al Franken and all those other freaks of nature.

                          I would have gotten them into nature and hunting and shooting and fishing and survival and learning how to grow their own food and such. We don't need more people putting crucifixes in vials of urine or pictures of Mary with dung splattered on them and calling it "art". Screw art.

                          It's even more important to learn things that really matter in the current environment in this country and the way we're headed.

                          I Agree!  I agree....except for  the Screw art part!!

                          forget what "they" say about youWhat you say about you?...

                          Now, does it count??

                           

                           

                          *Jr$ina

                            HaveABall's avatar - rocket

                            United States
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                            March 18, 2009
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                            Posted: April 1, 2010, 11:16 pm - IP Logged

                            The article reads:  "She set her sights on winning a very specific amount of money in the lottery. Enough money to support her family along with any charity she could ever dream of supporting. The dollar amount, she says? $112 million...It took only four months. In May of 2007, the Los Angeles resident bought a two-dollar ticket in the California Mega Millions lottery with her father and brother. They won her dream amount — $112 million — and together decided to take the cash payout of $67 million and split the money. When her winning numbers came in, everyone she knew was surprised except her."

                            Congratulations!  I've wanted to use visualization; but once the drawings start rolling over a few times, the exact amount of the published annuitized jackpot prize isn't predictable, is it?  I wonder what would have happened if she had been spending time picturing $111 Million ... probably not a vision that would be in required allignment/vibration with the universe in order to bring a win for a $112 Million jackpot to her.

                            Does anyone know if her immediate family's $2 Mega Millions ticket was a quick pick?

                            Having millions of dollars in my financial accounts means more, consistent fun for me.Lovies