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Canadian lottery winner donates $40 million jackpot to charity

Canada Lotto MaxCanada Lotto Max: Canadian lottery winner donates $40 million jackpot to charity
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Includes audio report

Unlike most big lottery winners who spend days, or even months, trying to figure out how they'll spend their newfound riches, Tom Crist needed only a moment to decide where his $40 million in winnings would go: all to charity. Top on the list would be the medical center that cared for his late wife when she developed cancer.

Still, it took Crist more than six months to tell anybody — including family members — he'd won. The retired Calgary executive had been lunching between rounds of golf in Palm Springs when his cell phone rang and he was told the news.

"I was speechless," Crist, 64, said in a recorded interview with Canadian public radio station CBC. "I really didn't know what to say."

Crist hung up the phone, finished lunch and went back to golf.

"I knew where the money was going to go as soon as I got that call," he told the CBC. "I just didn't want the media, the press, all that kind of stuff. So I just kept putting it off and putting it off, and putting it off."

Finally at the behest of the Western Canada Lottery Corp., he agreed to go public and have his photo taken. The fine print on the lottery subscription he'd bought had demanded as much.

The shy and retiring senior showed up for his win photo in dark glasses and a baseball cap.

"They asked, 'Is that your natural look?'" Crist told the CBC. "I said, yep. That's all you're getting. You're not getting a smile, nothing."

The former CEO of EECOL Electric said he didn't need the money for himself or his family.

"I guess I've been fortunate enough through my career, you know, that I had, with the company that I was with, to be fortunate enough to have a good living and be able to remain to have a good living and look after my kids," he told Reuters. "So, I don't really need the money."

His plan was to donate his winnings in honor of his wife Jan, who died in February of 2012 after a long battle with lung cancer.

"It's very, very, very important," he told the CBC, his voice starting to crack. "Because, you know, we lost a wife, a mom and a grandma. She beat it for a while, six years, and it finally caught up with her."

All of which made it supremely important for Crist to donate to cancer treatment and research. "Cancer is dear to my heart because of what happened to her," he told the CBC. "This just gives me the opportunity to give back."

Crist delivered his first big check — $1.2 million — on Tuesday to the Alberta Cancer Foundation, which collects donations for Calgary's Tom Baker Cancer Centre, where Jan had been treated.

He strode into the ACF office, check in hand, without any prior warning, Phoebe Dey, a spokesperson for the foundation told NBC News.

"He surprised us," Dey said. "He said that this is phase one of his gifts and that his intention with us was to make an annual gift. He stressed that this was just the beginning and that he intended to give away all $40 million."

Crist's son, Dallas, told Global News Calgary that he only learned about the $40 million when his wife called after having seen a news report.

"You gotta tell a secret, that's the one guy you tell a secret to," Dallas told Global Calgary. "We had no idea. He didn't change one bit. We had no clue. He is the most secretive man on the planet."

"He'd do anything for anybody," Dallas Crist told Gobal News Calgary. "He'd give you the shirt off his back. He's my role model, for sure."

The donation, Dey said, "will go to enhance care for other patients. It will help an awful lot. He told us that he had been successful in life and already had enough money to take care of his family and that this is what his wife would have wanted. He was doing it in her name."

Though Crist acknowledges that his actions may spark generosity in others, "I'm not doing it because it's going to inspire somebody else," he told the CBC. "I'm doing it because that's what my heart tells me to do."

LISTEN to the interview

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

NBC, CBC

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54 comments. Last comment 3 months ago by jamella724.
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helpmewin's avatar - dandy
DON'T HATE THE PLAYA HATE THE GAME
u$a
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Posted: December 20, 2013, 10:08 am - IP Logged

Very Nice!! God Bless you Mr,Tom Crist Blue Angel

                 

    Jon D's avatar - calotterylogo
    Los Angeles, California
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    January 5, 2011
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    Posted: December 20, 2013, 10:22 am - IP Logged

    Classic! You Da Man Tom, that's the way to do it:

    "That's all you're getting. You're not getting a smile, nothing."

    Should've also worn a mustache, full beard, vulcan ears and a unibrow. Even better!

      Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
      Zeta Reticuli Star System
      United States
      Member #30470
      January 17, 2006
      8760 Posts
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      Posted: December 20, 2013, 10:44 am - IP Logged

      Wow, whay a guy.

      I just hope he doesn't still get hounded despite having given it all away.

      "Slap some on me".

      "I gave it all away"

      "No you didn't share the wealth."

      I'm also wondering about that item in the Reader's Digest 13 Things Lottery Winners Won't Tell You that it's better to give annually than once. Maybe since Candaians aren't taxed on winnings, eh, it's a little different.

      Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any.

      Lep

      There is one and only one 'proven' system, and that is to book the action. No matter the game, let the players pick their own losers.

        dallascowboyfan's avatar - tiana the-princess-and-the-frog.jpg
        Oklahoma
        United States
        Member #82391
        November 12, 2009
        4889 Posts
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        Posted: December 20, 2013, 11:38 am - IP Logged

        Great story indeed may God continue to bless you Mr. CristHurray!

        Win BIG everyone....White Bounce

        I Love Pink & Green 1908

          lottolaughs's avatar - avatar 3824.gif
          California
          United States
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          May 31, 2006
          5485 Posts
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          Posted: December 20, 2013, 11:41 am - IP Logged

          It really made me ill watching that Lottery show with those winners and their mansions and extravagances. This man here is a REAL winner in my book. 

            DDOH937's avatar - Lottery-028.jpg

            United States
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            December 4, 2013
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            Posted: December 20, 2013, 11:49 am - IP Logged

            GREAT GUY!!! BUT, there is no way i would do this. This is going to upset a lot of people but Cancer research donations/contributions have turned out to be the BIGGEST charity scam in history. The medical center will do and obviously has done good work for for patients, including his ear late wife (may she rest in peace) and so i get it. And i'm sure some will benefit from his kindness.  WHEN i win one day, and i decide to give to charity. I already have one stipulation, none of my money will go to any organization where its board members make over $200,000 a year. There is sooo much i would love to get into here regarding how these places work but time and space prohibits at this point.

             

            GREAT GUY, GOOD HEART, RIGHT PRIORITIES!!! But not me, i'll find other more DIRECT ways to help and better the lives of many. Instead of fattening an already fat cow. (metaphorically speaking of course)

            "It's good to have money and the things that money can buy, but it's good, too, to check up once in a while and make sure that you haven't lost the things that money can't buy." - George Lorimer

              mrcraft's avatar - images3lp4 zps7dbb4a10.jpg
              Los Angeles, California
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              December 2, 2013
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              Posted: December 20, 2013, 12:27 pm - IP Logged

              Congrats!  Very cool story.

                blessings0424's avatar - uga
                Georgia
                United States
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                December 9, 2012
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                Posted: December 20, 2013, 2:17 pm - IP Logged

                Very touching story of a selfless man.  May God continue to bless him and his family.  Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and many blessings to come.

                  mypiemaster's avatar - peace
                  He who dies with the most toys WINS!!!.

                  United States
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                  Posted: December 20, 2013, 2:34 pm - IP Logged

                  I hope the death of his wife has not adversely affected him.Unhappy

                  Seekand ye shall find -Matt. 7:7 ...Ask and ye shall receive -John 16:24 ...Give and it shall be given unto you -Luke 6:38 ...Be careful what you ask for!!! -Mypiemaster 1:1

                  Having Money Solves Problems That Not Having Money Creates Yes Nod ****John Carlton****

                    maringoman's avatar - kobold
                    Massachusetts
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                    Posted: December 20, 2013, 2:55 pm - IP Logged

                    I think its a fantastic move. We need more people with this kind of generosity; generosity from the heart!

                    Alright, my turn.

                      Kee12's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg
                      I rep CA
                      Senegal
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                      July 17, 2013
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                      Posted: December 20, 2013, 3:26 pm - IP Logged

                      GREAT GUY!!! BUT, there is no way i would do this. This is going to upset a lot of people but Cancer research donations/contributions have turned out to be the BIGGEST charity scam in history. The medical center will do and obviously has done good work for for patients, including his ear late wife (may she rest in peace) and so i get it. And i'm sure some will benefit from his kindness.  WHEN i win one day, and i decide to give to charity. I already have one stipulation, none of my money will go to any organization where its board members make over $200,000 a year. There is sooo much i would love to get into here regarding how these places work but time and space prohibits at this point.

                       

                      GREAT GUY, GOOD HEART, RIGHT PRIORITIES!!! But not me, i'll find other more DIRECT ways to help and better the lives of many. Instead of fattening an already fat cow. (metaphorically speaking of course)

                      I Agree!

                      I'd be a fool to surrender when I know I can be a contender...I C U when U get there - Coolio

                        Goteki54's avatar - Lottery-007.jpg
                        Baltimore, MD
                        United States
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                        May 30, 2013
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                        Posted: December 20, 2013, 3:47 pm - IP Logged

                        Wow, Mr Crist is not only a winner in the lottery, he's a winner in life. I have total respect for him and wish him all the best, a class act human being hands down.Smile

                        Wheel Profits Unlimited!!US Flag

                          helpmewin's avatar - dandy
                          DON'T HATE THE PLAYA HATE THE GAME
                          u$a
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                          Posted: December 20, 2013, 5:19 pm - IP Logged

                          I think its a fantastic move. We need more people with this kind of generosity; generosity from the heart!

                          I Agree!

                                           

                            Artist77's avatar - batman14

                            United States
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                            January 16, 2012
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                            Posted: December 20, 2013, 5:31 pm - IP Logged

                            GREAT GUY!!! BUT, there is no way i would do this. This is going to upset a lot of people but Cancer research donations/contributions have turned out to be the BIGGEST charity scam in history. The medical center will do and obviously has done good work for for patients, including his ear late wife (may she rest in peace) and so i get it. And i'm sure some will benefit from his kindness.  WHEN i win one day, and i decide to give to charity. I already have one stipulation, none of my money will go to any organization where its board members make over $200,000 a year. There is sooo much i would love to get into here regarding how these places work but time and space prohibits at this point.

                             

                            GREAT GUY, GOOD HEART, RIGHT PRIORITIES!!! But not me, i'll find other more DIRECT ways to help and better the lives of many. Instead of fattening an already fat cow. (metaphorically speaking of course)

                            Good info. I need to add this to my future charity plans if I win big. I planned to check out the the charities but forgot about the BOD salaries.

                            Also, for those of you who plan to donate to an animal charity, a lot of the big national ones like PETA and the Humane Society are ripoffs and often care little about the animals. Donate to your local no kill rescue group or no-kill shelter.

                            Just as the bird sings or the butterfly soars,

                            because it is his natural characteristic,

                            so the artist works.

                            by Alma  Gluck