Months ago, it was announced that a single winner had hit the $1.5 billion Mega Millions jackpot, becoming America’s biggest-ever lottery winner.
Now, the anonymous woman’s lawyer has revealed she will share her fortune with charity.
“I do realize that such good fortune carries a tremendous social responsibility, and it gives me a unique opportunity to assist, support and contribute to charities and causes that are close to my heart,” the woman wrote in a statement.
The list of charities that will see part of her winnings include a Red Cross relief fund for victims of the Alabama tornadoes that caused 23 fatalities.
Her other personal causes include the City of Simpsonville’s Art Center, the hurricane relief fund One SC, a Ronald McDonald House, and the breast cancer charity In the Middle. The amounts of her donations were not disclosed.
The unnamed winner, whose numbers were drawn on October 23, chose to take her payout in a single $878 million lump sum, the largest ever given out to a single winner in U.S. history.
The winner told her lawyer, Jason Kurland, that she was tempted to buy a ticket after seeing signs advertising the huge jackpot on the highway, and stopped at a convenience store that day.
“After checking her ticket the morning after the drawing, she was in complete shock and disbelief,” Kurland’s statement read.
The woman said she screamed for “what felt like hours,” then set to work researching lawyers before coming forward with her big prize. Kurland says that was the right choice.
“First thing you do is stay quiet,” the attorney told Inside Edition. “Don’t tell your friends, don’t tell your family. You have a couple of weeks before you come forward to the world. You need that time to be in the right mindset.”
The one thing Kurland warns you must do is sign your winning ticket right away. That’s the only way to prove the ticket is yours.
Kurland says his client just wants to live “a life of relative normalcy, free of fear,” but she’s already helping deserving people in ways the rest of us could only dream of.
Good for her!
[H/T: Inside Edition]