Millionaire Powerball winner makes generous donations – April 23rd 2012
Charity is often a priority for lottery winners who are fortunate enough to take home the jackpot – and one USA Powerball lotto draw winner has been particularly generous with his windfall.
Virginia man Randy Smith, who won $79 million playing the American game in August 2010, has been giving away millions in lump sums to good causes, with his most recent bequest being his 24-unit Mega-Apartment Complex in Berkeley County.
This donation will see the property transformed into a sustainable community housing programme for families in crisis.
The United Way charity has also benefited from another legacy, the very home Mr Smith grew up in, which he gave to the good cause in honour of his late parents and sister, who lived in the property until her death in 2011.
In addition to family housing initiatives, the former magistrate and town sheriff has also donated to other local causes and individuals in need, in addition to local fire, police and emergency services.
But it is United Way that is a cause that is particularly close to his heart, as he grew all too aware of the shortage of emergency homes for families while serving his 12-year stint as deputy sheriff and eight subsequent years as sheriff.
Mr Smith said that he wanted to provide a facility that “would keep families together at the worst of times”, as many of the existing charities are single-sex, requiring most units to be split up when staying together would be more beneficial.
The apartment the lottery winner has left to United Way has been developed by a local property management company, Phoenix Group, which has refurbished the luxury home to include an emergency shelter flat, nine one-bedroom and 11 two-bedroom units and a four-room dwelling.
Last month, Mr Smith also donated $600,000 to a recreation centre project in Berkeley County, with officials looking to build the public facility on the campus of Musselman High School.
Lotto fans may feel inspired by the Virginia resident’s generosity and could do even more good if they are lucky enough to take home the coveted $173 million Powerball prize up for grabs in the next draw on Wednesday (April 25th).