best ways lottery winners donated their lotto prize

5 Best Ways Lotto Winners Have Donated Their Winnings

How lottery winners transformed their luck into generosity

Daydreaming about winning the lottery? Us too. Many people’s first thoughts go to what luxury purchase they would like to make like a new car, new home, or tropical vacation. But we know firsthand that those who are actually lucky enough to win the big prizes don’t only reach for the shiny objects. They use their windfall to give back, too. 
We’ve rounded up the five best ways winners have donated their lottery winnings, including a few stories from Jackpocket winners on the app! Prepare to be inspired

1. Tornado Relief in Alabama

After winning a $1.5 billion Mega Millions jackpot, a woman in South Carolina felt compelled to make a positive impact during troubling times. Her lump lottery sum of $878 million was the largest jackpot payout to a single person in history (at the time). 
When she won in 2019, Alabama had just been struck by catastrophic tornadoes, causing tons of damage and leaving many homeless. In response to this natural disaster, and in light of her recent victory, she donated a portion of her winnings to a Red Cross relief fund for the victims of the tornadoes. Next, came her donations to various other charities such as the Ronald McDonald House of  Columbia, South Carolina; In The Middle, a charity that helps women with breast cancer; the City of Simpsonville Art Center; and the One SC Fund for Hurricane Florence relief.

2. $50 Million to Girls Inc. and End 68 Hours of Hunger

A lucky New Hampshire native woke up one January morning in 2018 to find out she was a Powerball champion. After winning $559.9 million, she was adamant on providing part of her money directly to charity. After setting aside $50 million for donations, she promptly began handing out checks! Here first donations, at $249,000, each were made out to local New Hampshire branches of the national charities Girls Inc. and End 68 Hours of Hunger. 

3. An entire jackpot to fight human trafficking

One of the most selfless acts of generosity we’ve seen came from a lottery winner in New York State. In 2008, following a $3 million windfall from a Bada-Bling scratch off ticket, the anonymous winner donated the WHOLE PRIZE to his church, the True North Community Church of Port Jefferson. The money was to be gifted annually over the course of 20 years, which set the church up to receive $102,000 per year. The church’s pastor, Bertrand Crabbe, said that the first year’s money would be donated to Love 146, an organization that fights and creates awareness around human trafficking.  

4. A Jackpocket player gave back to charity

A Jackpocket player continues the theme! When Angelica in Corpus Christi won a $150,000 Powerball prize, she decided to use her winnings to continue her charity work. She told us she's also planning to buy a member of her church a new car to wish them luck at seminary school.

5. $500,000 to veterans group

This $350 million Powerball winner in Iowa formed her own foundation, which will give back to many causes. The 2018 winner revealed on The Ellen DeGeneres Show that her charitable foundation was dedicated to the memory of her grandson, who passed away at only 1 day old. Her first official donation? Half a million dollars to the Travis Mill Foundation, a rehabilitation center that supports veterans and their families

6. (BONUS!) $215,000 for Broadway Cares. Thanks, Jackpocket fam!

Our New York players logged on in droves earlier this year to play the lottery for a good cause. Jackpocket partnered with Broadway Cares, which helps members of the performing arts community who were struggling during the pandemic. Knowing that 10% of NY ticket sales on Jackpocket would go toward this NYC-based organization, y'all stepped UP, resulting in a $215,000 donation to the Broadway Cares COVID-19 relief fund.

The generosity demonstrated by lottery winners is truly inspiring. But even if you aren't a ginormous jackpot winner, you can feel good knowing your lottery play is helping others. That's because a portion of every lottery ticket sold, (yes, including on Jackpocket) goes back to important causes in your state. Education in New York, veterans in Texas, wildlife in Colorado—the list goes on. Everybody wins. 

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