7 lottery winners who gave it all away

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What would you do if you won the lottery? For most people, the first thing that comes to mind is a luxury holiday or a new car.

But these generous souls all gave their winnings away after hitting the jackpot - apart from one German lady, who simply flushed hers down the loo.


1. Tom Crist, Canada
Canadian lottery rules mean that Tom Crist, 64, had to give a press conference revealing that he had won £24.5 million last May.

But until that point, the retired chief executive, who lost his wife Jan to cancer at the age of 57, hadn't told anyone about scooping the jackpot - not even his four children.

At the press conference, he also announced he would be giving it all away to cancer charities - starting with the centre where Jan received treatment during her illness.

2. Chris and Colin Weir, UK
When the Weirs won £161m in 2011, they first shared the money with the people and causes close to their hearts, before setting up the Weir Charitable Trust dedicated to improving the quality of life in Scotland.

Projects supported by the trust include those linked to health, sport and recreation.

3. Allen and Violet Large, Canada
The Larges were both in their 70s when they scooped about £7m on the Canadian lottery and found the whole experience a "big headache".

The couple therefore decided it was better to give than receive and handed it all over to friends, charities and hospitals rather than going on a spending spree of their own.

4. Bob Erb, Canada
Erb won £13.5 million on the Canadian lottery in 2012, and has since given around £4.3m of that away.

His donations have included $1m for the promotion of marijuana legalisation and a $10,000 tip in a restaurant where he learned that the owner's daughter had cancer.

5. Amanda Nield, UK
Nield and her husband Graham won more than £6m on the lottery last year.

But instead of spending it on fancy holidays and presents, they decided to use the money to allow Nield to give up work so that she could care for her 72-year-old father, Jim, who has Alzheimer's, around the clock.

6. Sheelah Ryan, US
Ryan from Orlando, Florida won about £33m in the US Powerball draw in 1988.

Between then and her death in 1994, she gave money to a number of good causes including paying for poor children to have operations, and covering the rent to avoid mothers being evicted.

7. Angela Maier, Germany
Maier, 63, won £330,000 on the German national lottery - and then promptly flushed it down the toilet.

She decided to ditch the cash after drinking five bottles of champagne and opening a letter from care home where her husband died asking her to pay towards his medical expenses from her winnings.

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