Generous Lotto 6/49 Winners Violet and Allen Large
When we think about winning the lottery, we typically think about how we could spend the money doing great things for our families, friends, and ourselves. It’s natural to think somewhat selfishly when considering the possibility of winning millions. Who wouldn’t fantasize about being able to buy their own island? Well, generous Lotto 6/49 winners Violet and Allen Large proved to be much different than the rest of us when they were more than eager to be selfless by giving away the majority of their winnings.
Their Big Win
In July 2010, Nova Scotia residents Violet and Allen Large learned they’d hit the jackpot of $11.2 million after participating in the Canada Lotto 6/49 draw. Of course, the couple was thrilled, but not for the same reasons other lottery winners would be. Immediately, they decided to give away most of their large winnings. Naturally, they took care of their family first. Beyond that, however, they demonstrated incredible kindness by donating money to their community, specifically to local churches, hospitals, and other groups in their area. As a result, the couple belong to a rare and special group of winners who donated their winnings selflessly.
When asked why they’d be so generous, Violet and Allen admitted that they didn’t particularly need the money. They had a lasting retirement fund, a great home, and all that they needed to be comfortable. In fact, they only kept an astonishing two percent of the winnings ($224,000) for themselves, specifically for emergencies, which showed the public just how content the couple was. After Violet had spent significant time in the hospital battling ovarian cancer, she and Allen just wanted to move on with their lives while giving back.
Unsurprisingly, their generosity won them awards. The first was from the Rotary Club. When their neighbour Laurie Sandeson stopped by to congratulate them for the award, Violet and Allen showed their appreciation by gifting her with homemade jelly. After that, they won the 2011 Maritime Outstanding Individual Philanthropist Award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to attend the event to accept their award, as Violet’s illness had begun to worsen. Despite their lack of presence, the crowd gave Violet a standing ovation. It was clear that they’d changed the community for the better.
Violet and Allen Large met in Ontario, Canada, when Violet moved to the city for work. They were both at a dance when Allen saw her. When interviewed by The Globe and Mail, Allen said his first thoughts upon meeting Violet was that he “must ask that girl for a dance.” This event solidified their future, and in 1974, the couple married. They stayed in Ontario with Allen’s children and Violet’s step-children for the following 30 years. Allen worked as a steel welder, while Violet worked for cosmetic and chocolate companies. Because they didn’t have a lot of money, the two spent plenty of time together at home as Allen watched television and Violet read romance novels. When they did go out, the two loved to frequent community dances.
In 1983, the couple retired and moved to Nova Scotia. Despite not being wealthy, they lived fairly comfortably and had everything they needed. As the two were in love, they weren’t so worried about material items or money so long as they could be together. Still, they enjoyed playing the lottery and would do so every week on the off chance they’d be lucky. When they did finally win, however, they referred to the situation as a “big headache,” which eventually led them to make millions in charitable donations.
Unfortunately, on July 16th, 2011, Violet passed away at Colchester Regional Hospital at the age of 79. She was preceded in death by Allen, her step-daughters Louise and Betty, three step-grandchildren, and five step-great-grandchildren.
Lottery Email Scam
Though Violet and Allen showed great generosity to their community, that didn’t prevent lottery scams from targeting them. Just a month after their win, an email scam began to circulate with the senders claiming the Larges’ identities. As usual, the messages claimed that the couple would be giving away some of their money to the lucky receiver—a trick meant to con people for their personal information, including name, address, banking information, and so forth. Likewise, the senders asked for the recipients to send money to cover processing fees.
Even three years after their win and two years after Violet’s death, the emails continued to be sent, which resulted in an onslaught of phone calls for Allen Large. Of course, this was extremely upsetting for him, who wasn’t pleased to see that scammers were still using his wife’s name in their emails. He noted that she knew about the scams before her passing, and naturally, she was upset by it. Unfortunately, there was no easy way to stop it, as most of these scams originate in foreign countries where the Canadian authorities have no jurisdiction.
When receiving emails from senders claiming to be lottery winners, make sure to remain vigilant. Never share your personal details when dealing with these types of emails. If in doubt, speak to a friend or family member.
Most people wouldn’t even think about donating nearly the entirety of their money after winning the lottery. However, Violet and Allen Large clearly weren’t “most people,” as they cared much more for their community than they cared about the millions they’d won. Like another generous Canadian winner, Bob Erb, and Powerball winner Pearlie Mae Smith, the couple demonstrated great selflessness, and in doing so gained love and support from people all over the world. If nothing else, their story shows just how important it is to consider all the ways one can spend their lottery winnings. The idea of being able to use that money for good is just more incentive to keep playing.