A Lottery Winner Leaves a Charitable Legacy

Jacob Rebb

Updated on:

Giving Charitable Gift

From rich to richer

What happens when the wealthy play the lottery and win? For Tom Crist, that is exactly what happened. Crist was in his 60s in May 2013 when he won a Canadian lottery payout of $40 million. Already a wealthy man, and a CEO of an electric company, Crist had no need for the money and, at the time, commented that he had no idea which lottery he had even won because he played them on subscription.

On the day he won, Crist reminisced, he had been playing golf with some friends when he had received the call and, instead of telling everyone he knew about it, he proceeded to finish his round of golf instead. Crist waited six months before telling anybody that he had won, and while taking a picture to announce his winnings, he had reportedly told the group responsible that they weren’t getting a smile — his natural look was what they were going to get, and they’d either be happy with it or he wouldn’t take any pictures at all.

What he decided to do

After winning, Crist announced that he would do one thing only with his money — instead of buying a new house, or a fancy car, or any other luxury item like many lottery winners, he decided to put the entire fortune he had made into a trust, having done so before even telling his family about his winnings.

The trust in question was attributed to his deceased wife, Jan. They were married for 44 years and she died from cancer in February of 2012. As part of his donation of his lottery win to the fund, the family announced that they had wanted money from it to go towards foundations and groups such as the Canadian Cancer Society and Calgary’s Tom Baker Cancer Centre. Crist commented at the time that his wife had been treated heavily at the cancer center in question, so he wanted funds from the trust to go there.

As part of this trust, also, Crist helped found the Crist Family Foundation, which focuses on providing Crist’s children with funds that then go towards charities or groups of their choice yearly.

Some of these groups include the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation and the Tomorrow Project, as well as the Alberta Zoo (because his grandchild loves it) and the Ronald McDonald House.

Crist was the perfect candidate to receive a large amount of funds, as his family had already been donating heavily to different charities over the years. The funds provided to him only allowed him to do even more work, and to do good in other people’s lives in the name of a person that he had lost.

Crist commented at the time that the cause of cancer was extremely important to his life, and he has made sure to show how important supporting those suffering with the disease are — so that others do not have to experience what he had gone through.