Most of us think about what we’d do if we hit the jackpot. Violet and Allen Large had to do more than think about it. In July 2010 they won $11.2 million in the Canadian 6/49 lottery.
Consumer toys weren’t on their list. Neither was a replacement for their 147-year-old house or their 1987 vehicle. When they picked up their winnings, the Truro, Nova Scotia couple had no big plans for the money. The local paper quoted Allen as saying, “We’re just good old country people.”
Four months later the couple had given away most of the money to family and local charities. They were content in a home built nearly a century and a half ago. Violet told CBC, “We haven’t bought one thing. That’s because there is nothing that we need.”
They tucked away about two percent of their winnings for themselves, but the rest they were happy to distribute. When the Winnipeg Free Press interviewed them, Violet said, “We didn’t do this to get recognition. We did this because we wanted to.” By that time, November 2010, Violet had lost her hair to chemotherapy, but she was still cheerful and upbeat. “I’ve been very fortunate not to be bedfast,” she said.
On Saturday, July 16, 2011, 79-year-old Violet died of the cancer. My heart goes out to Allen. He has lost what he valued most, his beloved wife of 37 years.
The Larges’ legacy of generosity and selflessness will live long after both of them. They are role models for all of us.
Watch the Allens on video:
Virtual candles of thanks for a beautiful soul