What would you do if you won $5,000 a week for 25 years?
Most people would splurge on a luxury vacation, buy their dream homes and help family and friends, one survey found. One thing that didn’t appear on this list? Using winnings to inspire change and make the world a better place. And because no one wants to hear about all the bling, Bentleys and beach vacations that the rest of us would blow our cash on, we partnered with California Lottery to find the 9 most unselfish lottery winners (and possibly humans) in the world.
In 2011, an anonymous church-goer
put a winning $30,000 lottery ticket into a Baltimore church’s collection plate. The incredibly appreciative pastor of the parish said he was going to use the donation to pay for church expenses, as well as help those in need.
B. Raymond Buxton of Northern California won a $425 million Powerball prize earlier this year. He waited more than a month to come forward and is trying to remain as anonymous as possible. He said he plans to set up
a charitable foundation focused on pediatric health, child hunger and education with his winnings.
Les Robins, a Wisconsin middle school teacher, won $111 million in Powerball winnings in 1993. He decided to use his hefty check to purchase a 226-acre plot of land off Lake Winnebago. But instead of building the vacation house of his dreams, he opened Camp Winnegator
, a day camp for kids. Years later, the camp is still going strong.
Jim Dancy of Michigan won $10,000 in 2009. Rather than spending the money on little luxuries for himself, he donated the lump sum
to the Kalamazoo United Way, which helps those in need with education, income stability and leading healthy lives.
Bob Erb of British Columbia won a $25 million Lotto Max jackpot in 2012. Erb, whose son passed away from cancer, stopped into Cliff Luther's restaurant. He empathized with the owner whose daughter was suffering from cancer. Much to Luther’s surprise, Erb paid for his burger and fries
with a $10,000 check.
This is one of the more creative ways to spend lottery winnings. John Kutey, who split a $319 million jackpot with six other people, built a $250,000 water park
in Green Island, NY. Spray Park replaced an outdated park from the 1940s.
Ray and Barbara Wragg, a couple from Sheffield, England, won over $15 million in 2000. They’ve given away most of the prize money
to causes including the Weston Park Hospital in their hometown and Sheffield Children’s Hospital. In 2004, they even sent 50 veterans to Italy in honor of the 60th anniversary of the Battle of Monte Cassino.
Gloria Mackenzie, an 84-year-old retiree won a massive Powerball jackpot of $590.50 million in 2013. She used $2 million of her prize to fix a leaky roof
at Schneck High School in East Millinotick, ME. Mackenzie is herself a retired teacher and her children all attended the school. Mackenzie’s daughter also taught at Schneck and her son was a member of the school board.
Homeless man Dennis Mahurin of Illinois won $50,000 from a scratch-off ticket. Not too shabby! Instead of using the money to move out of his tent, Mahurin went to the dentist
and gave each of his homeless friends $100.