A heart of gold


JF-Expert Member
Apr 10, 2009
CALGARY — A Calgary man has wasted no
time in starting to give away his $40 million
lottery win to charity.
Tom Crist was at the Tom Baker Cancer
Centre on Tuesday, presenting a cheque for
$1.2 million.
He says the centre is near and dear to his
heart because staff there took such good
care of his wife, Janice, as she was dying of
cancer a couple of years ago.
Myka Osinchuk of the Alberta Cancer
Foundation says it’s not unusual for patients
and their family members to express their
gratitude with donations.
She says even before he hit the jackpot in
Lotto Max, Crist was a regular contributor to
the facility.
Jan Crist Calgary Herald/CBC
Crist says his winnings will all go into a trust
fund that will donate to charities for years
to come.
The retired head of an electronics company
actually found out he won the May 3 draw
while he was lunching with friends before a
round of golf in Palm Springs.
He got a call from the lottery corporation
because he had purchased his tickets on a
subscription basis and had never actually
held the ticket itself.
“I was speechless obviously, I didn’t know
what to say a it was a very short
conversation,” said Crist.
Friends who were with him on the links
that day say they had no idea.
“He came back to the course. There was a
group of us there, and you wouldn’t have
known he won $40-million dollars because
he didn’t say a word,” remembered friend
Reg Toth.
“He played a little better that day, that was
the only difference we noticed!”
He came back to the course. There
was a group of us there, and you
wouldn’t have known he won $
40-million dollars because he
didn’t say a word
Nor did Crist tell his four children and six
“I guess that’s just me, that’s who I am. It
was no big deal, I just never thought about
it much.”
“If you’ve got to tell a secret, that’s the one
guy to tell a secret to,” laughed his son,
Dallas Crist. “We had no idea.”
He said he and his siblings are totally on
board with where the money is going.
“I’m pretty proud of him, I wish I was half
the man he is,” said Dallas. “It’s incredible
what he’s doing. It just kind of blows my
mind. I’m excited for him. If my mom was
alive she’d do the exact same thing.
Tom Crist of Calgary poses in front of a Lotto
Max sign in a handout photo. Crist didn't
even know which lottery he'd won when he
got a call telling him he was $40 million
Canada Lottery Corporation
“If we could give it all back for Mom, we’d
do it in a heartbeat a money’s material,
family is everything.”
Crist said his decision to give away the
money was easy as he had a successful
career and didn’t need the money for
himself or his family.
His friends weren’t surprised he would give
it all away.
“He’s probably the most generous man I’ve
met in my whole career and I couldn’t have
been happier for him and his family,” said
Darren Buium, a former co-worker.
“He’s volunteered for years and years and
will continue to volunteer for years and
years. He’s a good guy.”
“If you knew Tom, you’d say, ‘yep, it makes
sense,”’ added pal Larry Knorr. “He would
give it to charity, absolutely.”

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