A 64-year old Calgary man named Tom Crist was playing golf back in May, when he received a phone call from the Western Canada Lottery Corporation. The reason for the call? He’d just won the $40 million jackpot, the largest in the WCLC’s history. Crist’s response? He hung up the phone and just kept playing golf. He didn’t tell the people he was playing with and he didn’t call his kids to let them know. He just finished his round, went about his business, and six months later, he finally told people about it.
“I wasn’t even sure which game I’d won on, or what the numbers were,” Tom said. “I’ve paid for the Subscription when I get the renewal notice every year, and then I just file it – sometimes I’d get a cheque for $10 or $20, but I never expected this.” (Via the WCLC)
“As soon as I hung up from my cellphone call from Western Canada Lottery I never thought about it. We finished our lunch, we went out golfing. I’ve kept it a secret, even my kids didn’t know until today,” said Crist on Monday. (Via CBC, H/T to the HuffPo)
However, the only reason that the retired CEO is talking about it now is because it’s so remarkable what he has chosen to do with the money. Because he doesn’t need it, Crist is putting the money into a family trust so that it will all be paid out to charities of his family’s choosing over time, in honor of his wife who passed away in 2012.
Crist said cancer was a special concern, because of what happened to his wife. “She was fairly young and stuff. She beat it for six years before it finally caught up to her.”
Crist said he plans to put the money into a family trust fund to be doled out to charities he and his kids pick over the years. Charities such as the Canadian Cancer Society and Calgary’s Tom Baker Cancer Centre will be at the top of that list, he says.
“I’ve been fortunate enough, through my career, 44 years with a company. I did very well for myself. I’ve done enough that I can look after myself, for my kids, so they can get looked after into the future. I don’t really need that money.” (Via CBC)
Obviously, when it comes to lottery winners, we’ve heard all of the horror stories with people who win big and are suddenly overwhelmed by people asking and begging for money, or even worse they blow it all and end up worse off than before. That’s why Crist initially wanted to go with a Ron Swanson approach and stay off the grid, but rules are rules, so he showed up for his picture in the hat and sunglasses above, and he told them that was all they’d get.
Tom Crist might be giving away his $40 million, but he’s gaining all of the brownie points.