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November 04, 2021

How much of your lotto winnings would you give away?

For any story that hurts Canada’s rep on the global scale – like, according to investment guru Kevin O’Leary at least, our government’s blocking of BHP’s bid for PotashCorp – thank God for Allen and Violet Large.

You’ve no doubt heard by now about the Larges, a Nova Scotia couple in their 70s who gave away nearly all of their $11.2 million Lotto 6/49 winnings. Ninety-eight per cent, to be exact, according to the Star.

For their generosity, the big-hearted elderly pair has received international praise – their story’s appeared in the U.S. and U.K. already – but it also raises an interesting question: if you won the lotto, how much of your winnings would you give away?

132665_lottery_winner Certainly, handing out a chunk of your jackpot would be nothing new. When I was a newspaper reporter attending lottery winners’ press conferences, the first thing lucky Canadians would announce – to appease the cameras or not – is their intention to give part of their payout to charity.

Yet 98 per cent is a pretty whopping figure, making what the Larges did – giving an undisclosed, equal sum to their family members, then the rest to local churches, fire departments, hospitals and the Red Cross – commendable by any measure.

Commendable, and also genuinely modest. As if they couldn’t endear themselves to the world any further, the couple said the two per cent they did keep ($224,000 before tax) is just for a “rainy day.”

Not all of us would be as generous as the Larges, surely, but most would probably donate at least a little of their winnings – 76 per cent of this CBC poll said they would – to charities and worthwhile causes.

If you won the lottery, what percentage of your jackpot would you give away?

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...