TOM CRIST – A BIG WINNER AND A REMARKABLE MAN
If you ask them, many people will lay out plans to give money away if they are lucky enough to win a big lottery jackpot, they’ll just set aside enough for themselves first. But when the stroke of luck comes, very few of these people ever make good on their pronouncements of generosity – perhaps their definition of ‘enough money for them’ somehow stretches to cover almost all of their winnings.
To be sure there are some winners who have given significant portions of their winnings to charity, but Canadian lottery winner Tom Crist is in a league of his own. Right from the start he stated that he will give every cent of his winnings to charity – all $40 million of it. And he has been quite busy of late donating and looking for other worthy recipients of his generosity.
Who is Tom Crist?
From interviews he has given to the media after he won $40 million in the Canadian lottery, we know that Tom Crist is a retired former CEO of EECOL Electric. He says that life had been so good to him financially that he was able to provide for his family, and even without the lottery win he already has enough to see him through retirement. We also know that he is a widower, who lost his wife Janice to cancer in February of 2012 after 6 years of battle.
His son Dallas describes Tom as a very generous person who would “give you the shirt off his back.” Dallas calls Tom his role model.
The Big Moment When Crist Won
Crist was having lunch between playing rounds of golf when he received a telephone call informing him of his big win. But he finished his lunch and continued playing. He did not tell anybody of his incredible stroke of luck, not even his family.
He was so unconcerned because the moment he learned he won $40 million, he knew where he wanted it to go, at least in general terms. He wanted to donate the entire amount to charity. It was only six months later that Tom agreed to accept the money at the request of the Western Canada Lottery Corp. He gave in to the required press release and photo, but the unassuming man would not even smile for the camera, perhaps because he likes to put smiles on other people’s faces better.
What He’s Been Up To Since Then
Crist has been busy giving his winnings away just like he said. His first gift was a $1.2 million donation to the Tom Baker Cancer Centre through the Alberta Cancer Foundation. His late wife was treated at the centre before her demise. He says cancer research is dear to his heart because of what has happened to his late wife. He explained to the staff of the Alberta Cancer Foundation that he means to make the donations regular, and that he will give away all his winnings to charity.
Crist has also invested a lot of money in Kidoodle TV. Kidoodle TV is a child-safe movie ordering portal invented by Mike Lowe, after finding his young son had unintentionally ordered an adult movie. Aside from the moral angle, Crist believes the concept is a winner and will provide money flows back to his charity foundation.
A few scams using his name have caused Crist some grief, but that is part of being a winner. And he has stopped reading letters sent to him, as most remind him of what he had been through.
Crist is happy giving his winnings away, and believes it is what his late wife would have wanted too. He quite enjoys helping a few families with their financial problems but is realistic enough to understand he cannot save the whole world. Still he is determined to keep on giving till the money runs out.
Happy To Give
What is so remarkable about Tom Crist is the fact that he may be the only big lottery winner who has pledged to give every cent to charity. But even if descriptions about his generosity are only half true, his philanthropy must be giving him happiness that all the money in the world cannot buy. In that sense you can say he is getting more than his money’s worth.
I can even imagine a camel passing through the eye of a needle!