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Man Decides to Give $40 Million Lottery Prize to Charity in Wife’s Honor

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Tom Crist got a phone call from Western Canada Lottery saying he had just won $40 million. So what did he do? Well, nothing at all, at first.

“We finished our lunch, we went out golfing,” Crist said, adding that he knew right away that the money would go to charity. He just didn’t want any media attention.

Crist’s wife of 33 years, Jan, died in February 2012 from cancer, and the lottery winnings will all go to charities like the Canadian Cancer Society and Calgary’s Tom Baker Cancer Centre.

He hadn’t even told his children about it until just recently. “I just didn’t know how to deal with it,” Crist said. “I was hoping that I could just somehow move it into, you know, from the lotto corporation into my trust account and not have the media.” But under his subscription contract with the Canadian lottery, he had to at least have his picture taken (with sunglasses and a baseball hat—his choice).

Crist’s kids weren’t upset or anything. They support his decision fully.

“I’ve been fortunate enough, through my career, 44 years with a company. I did very well for myself,” Crist said. “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.”

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