Generous Powerball Winner Les Robins
Winning the lottery can often change people for the worse. Many times, winners become obsessed with spending their riches on things they couldn’t afford before, such as expensive cars, huge mansions, and lavish vacations. However, this isn’t always the case. When it comes to generous Powerball winner Les Robins, luxury was the last thing on his mind.
A Record-Breaking Win
When Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, resident Les Robins bought a lottery ticket with his now ex-fiancé Colleen in 1993, he wasn’t expecting to hit the jackpot. It was a rough time for the substitute teacher, as he made less than $20,000 a semester working at Sabish Junior High School. Receiving the news that he was holding a winning Powerball ticket was exciting, but finding out that it was the nation’s largest lottery prize at that time was even more of a reason to be ecstatic. It was a whopping $111 million, and after splitting the winnings with Colleen, Les certainly had much to consider.
How Did Les Spend His Winnings?
After accepting the annuity payout, Les knew he had to do something good with his new riches. Naturally, his first thought was to invest a decent-sized chunk of his winnings into something he was passionate about. The winner built Camp Winnegator, a day camp for children, which is still thriving today. The camp is 226-acres and comes with many fun activities, including a mini-golf course, a pool, riding stables, and even a gym.
Beyond that, Les kept his purchases fairly modest. He rented a lakefront house near his hometown of Fond du Lac and splurged on a Jeep Cherokee. He also flew his friends out to college football games for the fun of it. Beyond that, Les didn’t make any big plans for his winnings. It’s entirely likely he’s still sitting on most of it today; however, he’s managed to keep relatively quiet since his big win.
Where Is Les Now?
After agreeing to split their winnings, Les and Colleen also agreed to split as a couple and went their own ways. In 1994, Les married a different woman whom he’d coincidentally met seven years prior while working as a camp counsellor. Though he had planned to continue working, he soon realised that managing his money was a job all in itself. As a result, he left his teaching job for several years and took on managing Camp Winnegator. However, in 2000, the Fond du Lac school board offered Les a long-term gig as a substitute teacher, so he returned to teaching at Sabish High.
In 2009, Les and Colleen sued Peachtree Financial Solutions, the company that had purchased the rights to their annuity payments. The case focused on Peachtree’s failure to pay out interest on a late tax return payment as well as the winners being overcharged in annual fees. Details and results of the case weren’t made entirely public, but what we know for certain is that the pair had sued in the amount of $1.1 million to cover the interest owed as well as punitive damages.
Many lottery winners have chosen the path of generosity after winning millions, and clearly, Les Robins was no different. His investment in Camp Winnegator was proof of just how passionate he was about his role as an educator. He’s a perfect example of how to not blow all of your lottery winnings—unlike these irresponsible winners.