A man who won $40 million in the Canadian Lotto Max jackpot and kept it secret for seven months now says he will donate the entire winnings to charity.
Tom Crist won the jackpot on May 3 and didn’t even tell his kids.
“As soon as I hung up from my cell phone 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 told CBC Radio on Monday.
As soon as he got the call, Crist knew where the money was going to go, he said.
“I lost my wife to cancer two years ago,” the widower said. His wife, Jan, died in February 2012. They were married for 33 years.
The lotto agency said the prize was the largest ever won in Calgary.
“I wasn’t even sure which game I’d won, or what the numbers were,” Crist told the agency. 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.”
Now Crist plans to put the money into a family trust fund to be donated out to different charities he and his children pick out over the years. He said cancer was a special concern because of his wife.
“She was fairly young and stuff. She beat it for six years before it finally caught up to her.”
Charities such as the Canadian Cancer Society and Calgary’s Tom Baker Cancer Centre are on the top of his donation list, Crist said.
“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,” he said. Crist retired as the CEO of EECOL Electric in September.
Although his kids support his decision, they did ask Crist why he didn’t tell him about it sooner.
“I said, ‘I just didn’t know how to deal with it.’ 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,” Crist said.
“But, when you buy a ticket you’re subject to the rules of the lottery and that’s a picture and a notification – especially if it’s a big win,” he said.
Crist went in for the photo but strategically had on a baseball cap and sunglasses.
“They asked me, ‘Is that your natural look?’ and I said ‘Yep. That’s all you’re getting,” he said.
Source: CBC Radio, WCLC.com