A lottery winner plans to donate his $40 million jackpot to charity.
Canadian Tom Crist of Calgary, announced his intentions on Monday while coming forward to claim his winnings after keeping his fortune a secret for months, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported
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Crist was golfing in May when he was made aware that he had won the jackpot, which was reportedly the largest in Calgary's history. The retiree was signed up through a lottery subscription system in Canada that automatically notifies winners when their numbers come in.
"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," Crist said on Monday.
Immediately after learning that he was the winner, Crist said he decided to put the money into a family trust that would be used to fund charities that were near and dear to his heart. Among the recipients of his winnings would be cancer research charities such as the Canadian Cancer Society and Calgary's Tom Baker Cancer Center.
Two years earlier, Crist lost his wife of 33 years to cancer.
"She was fairly young and stuff. She beat it for six years before it finally caught up to her," Crist told CBC News.
Having retired in September as CEO of the EECOL Electric company, Crist said that money was of little concern to him and his family at this stage in his life.
"I’ve been fortunate enough, through my career, 44 years with a company. I did very well for myself," Crist told CBC News. "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."
According to Crist, though his children will not be the recipients of the winnings, the money will also go to several charities of their choosing through the fund.
Crist, who initially wanted to remain anonymous, said he was required to appear at the lottery headquarters for a photo. He took the photo with his face somewhat hidden behind a baseball cap and sunglasses.
"They asked me, ‘Is that your natural look?’ and I said ‘Yep. That’s all you’re getting,'" Crist told CBC News with a laugh.
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