‘Country hicks’ give away lottery fortune
'You're born with nothing, you're going to die the same way'
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 05/11/2010 (4411 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
LOWER TRURO, N.S. — Allen and Violet Large can’t quite understand all the fuss over their decision to give away the lion’s share of their whopping $11.2-million lottery win.
The elderly Nova Scotia couple says they managed to get by in their 147-year-old house with their prized 1987 Dodge Diplomat for many decades before striking it rich in a Lotto 649 draw last July.
But since it was revealed late Wednesday that they had handed out all of the winnings — minus about two per cent tucked away for themselves — media outlets had been calling non-stop before they took the phone off the hook.
“We didn’t do this to get recognition,” Violet said in the couple’s cosy living room in Lower Truro, N.S. “We did this because we wanted to… We’re just country hicks.”
The phone started ringing early Thursday, with reporters asking over and over again what would possess the 75-year-old retired welder and his wife to relinquish such a sizable jackpot. Television camera crews filed into their tiny white house atop a hill.
Violet, who finished chemotherapy treatment for ovarian cancer just a week ago, and her husband of 36 years patiently explain why it is they doled out their millions to over 70 churches, cemeteries, hospitals, fire departments and other charities.
All of their 15 family members were the first to get equal portions of the winnings.
“Everybody can’t understand why — everybody says why didn’t you keep it? ” Allen Large says, another lottery ticket sitting on his dining room table.
“We were sitting quite well before we ever won this money. We weren’t millionaires, but we were well to do.”
Violet, who lost her hair shortly after collecting their cheque in July in Moncton, N.B., added simply that they need nothing more than each other.
“We never had that money, we never went without anything but we wasn’t born with silver spoons in our mouths, so we knew we had to work for what we got,” she said.
“We have each other — that’s the main thing. We don’t live in a modern house or have new cars, no fandangle things. You’re born with nothing, you’re going to die the same way.”
Word of the couple’s astounding generosity has drawn interest abroad.
The story drew a flood of comments from readers on the Daily Mail’s website in Britain.
“Wow, what wonderful people!” wrote a poster on the tabloid’s site. “A real heartwarming story for sure. If only there were more people like this in the world… “
— The Canadian Press