Remembering Violet Large, the lotto winner that gave away $11.2M
In my time here at MSN, almost two and a half years now, I’ve had a chance to research some great stories.
And no tale has been more memorable than that of Allen and Violet Large, the elderly Nova Scotia couple I wrote about two months ago in a piece entitled, “Real-life Robin Hoods.”
The pair had not robbed the rich, but give they did. After winning $11.2 million in a Lotto 649 draw last July, they decided to give away 98 per cent of their jackpot.
Last year, the story received heaps of international attention. Yesterday, Violet Large, 79-years-young, passed away after losing her fight with ovarian cancer.
We don’t often participate in the business of obituaries in this space, but we also don’t often come across Canadians like Violet Large.
Her legend, of course, has already become a Canuck fairy tale. After hitting the lottery jackpot with her husband of 37 years, Violet and Allen, who had saved like honourable Nova Scotians their entire adult lives, shone a light on Canada entirely contrary to the one that broadcast our nation's name to the world in the streets of Vancouver following the Stanley Cup Finals.
“Big hearts. Wonderful people. God bless them,” wrote a commenter on the story as it was told in the U.K.’s Daily Mail. Even readers across the pond couldn’t resist gushing over the smiling couple, who decided to keep just a sliver of their winnings for, in their words, a “rainy day.”
Said Violet at the time, “What you’ve never had, you never miss.”
The Large’s payout went to family, local churches, fire departments and the Red Cross near their tiny hometown of Lower Truro, N.S., where Violet will be mourned in a private funeral today.
Of all the media coverage afforded the Larges last year, one photo stands out of the pair, shown here in thumbnail form (click here for an enlarged version). A lot of fortune goes into winning an $11.2 million lottery, certainly, but check out that pic. Look in their eyes: to have that kind of love and adulation, through 37 years and a gruelling, if fated, struggle with cancer?
We should be so lucky.
By Jason Buckland, MSN Money
*Photo courtesy Michael Gorman/QMI Agency
Posted by: Cathie Hunter | Jul 20, 2021 8:01:47 AM
If only we could all have such a generous heart!
Posted by: kathleen hopkins | Jul 20, 2021 8:38:15 AM
H i I am a Nova Scotian also and this just shows you what a good and decienct folk are like.We have big hearts and this couple proved the point.My condolences to the family at this time.Its nice to see that greed didn't consume their life.Just makes me proud to be a Canadian from Nova Scotia.We may be a fishing but our hearts are bigger than the sea.
Posted by: Bill | Jul 20, 2021 9:36:48 AM
@kathleen hopkins, I thought the donation was made by Allen and Voilet Large, not the entire province of Nova Scotia! If they had lived in another province, would they not have made this donation? Half of my family are from Nova Scotia as well. So? I am just happy that there are wonderful people like them in this world.
Posted by: Belle | Jul 20, 2021 11:15:04 AM
God bless their heart. Amazing and touching. Such a kind soul-she's home now. May she rest in peace.
Posted by: LICORNES | Jul 20, 2021 12:21:09 PM
I don't normally read or comment to any posted blogs but this one not only caught my eye view's attention but also my heart's attention. It would be exactly what I would do. After reading all of the positive and negative comments, folks don't need to be old or young to participate because a young person can have a heart that thinks old, yet a couple like these two have shown not only a young heart but also a "heart of gold". It was quite obvious when they bought the ticket that should they win how would it change their lives? it' didn't, but rest assured they have changed and touched the lives of many others.
I too am getting on in age, retired back in 1995 and like so many others struggling in many ways and back to working (my husband going through weekly treatments, my only sister with MS and I buy a lottery ticket, not to change my life but to make it comfortable enough by paying off the mortgage, so I can really retire for a second time, then help out my immediate family and friends and depending on the lottery prize, I would even help others in bona fide needs.
For me to see others in dire need of someone's help and to put a smile on those persons face would make me to very happy and I get to see it while living and not wait until I die where I would not be able to see how I've in a small way change their lives from misery to comfortable.
OOPS I better stop here before I write a book. God bless and she is resting in peace, smiling down to all those who were touched by them :-)
Posted by: J Gendron | Jul 20, 2021 1:44:58 PM
My Heart goes out to her family, she was a true Saint, may she rest in peace. She was a very gracious woman, wish there were more like her in this world. So very true Nova Scotians are a great bunch of people, God Bless you all
Posted by: Noella Hosken """ Admierer.""" | Jul 20, 2021 2:36:50 PM
Honourable, admirable,is all I can say about this lovely couple.I'm so sorry for your loss, to you, and your families. My heart goes out to them with joyful feelings .I can relate to the comment:::you don't miss what you never had.;coming from a small town myself,living a very poor childhood with 3 other siblings,I can relate to this.Somehow for whatever reasons;you always seem to find the good in people,and feel that life was good as long as we were a family.Love is what keeps you going I guess;because being poor we somehow fond a way of covering up what we didn't want others to know. So it's like being happy in your own cocoon.Things haven't changed much over the adult years,but that's life isn't it? ..you make the best you can, and work from there.I'm so happy that this couple understood that , I'm sure,and,that money can help yes; but it doesn't change everything, past ,present or future.They did what you call unselfishness, a true act of GOD. May GOD always be with you and yours. Thank you for sharring with us, that there are great people out there still. Thanks for warming my heart. hugs....:-)
Posted by: Michelle | Jul 20, 2021 3:03:20 PM
Thank you! Imagine if we were all like Violet and Allen......what a wonderful world this would be. My condolences Mr. Large for your loss.
Posted by: Jason | Jul 20, 2021 4:51:03 PM
@Bill Way to be a jerk when someone is posting that they are proud to be Canadian. I read the comment as "this is what generous, decent people are like" not that only these people are bread in NS. Maybe you should put constructive comments on a board like this vice downer comments.
Posted by: Emily Alcampo | Jul 20, 2021 5:10:42 PM
Thank you, dear Allen and Violet, for your decision to create changes that brought joy and love to those who needed them. You reminded us what a truly beautiful world we live in. Most of all, you taught us to believe in one another, for the good of all mankind. Violet, rest in your new home. God bless us all.
Posted by: Leslie Ann Squirrell | Jul 20, 2021 8:02:15 PM
God Bless the beautiful people like Violet & Allen. Condolences from my family to yours.
Posted by: Ana Mae Lara Pena | Jul 20, 2021 10:27:47 PM
I'm very grateful to hear the wonderful story of Allen and Violet Large, who inspired us in so many ways, and reminded us that money truly can't buy happiness, but, instead, by giving it away to help those in need, only, you can feel what happiness truly is !!!! Certainly, there are so many people in this world, but, only few are humans. Allen and Violet are among of them. Sadly. it's getting fewer for Violet has already taken away from us by our CREATOR. To Violet.... THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR WONDERFUL LIFE TO US. MAY YOUR SOUL REST IN PEACE!!! To Allen.... MAY THE LORD GIVE YOU A MUCH LONGER LIFE AND CONTINUE TO INSPIRE OTHERS. In this very complicated world and sometimes complicated life, we're just glad to have " BOTH OF YOU", as our INSPIRATION. GOD BLESS!!!!!
Posted by: doris mersey | Jul 20, 2021 11:57:10 PM
I'M FROM NOVA SCOTIAAND ALOT OF US WAS NOT BORN WITH A SILVER SPOON IN OUR MOUTHS ,BUT WE ALWAYS WERE TAUGHT TOO SHARE AND GOD BLESS THEM ,I'M GLAD TO HEAR THAT THERE ARE PEOPLE FROM HOME WHO HELP OTHERS OUT AND ALWAYS WILL, BUT SO SORRY TO HEAR OF HER PASSING ,BUT GOD ALWAYS TAKES ANGELS ,AND SHE SURE WAS ONE , AND GOD BLESS HIM TOO .