After winning €200,000,000 (around US$218 million) in the lottery, this French man didn’t buy a house or a new, expensive car. Instead, he donated most of his winning sum to charity, creating a new fund to protect the Earth.
The Epitome of Generosity
The winner of the EuroMillions jackpot preferred to stay anonymous, but his endeavors still speak volumes. He donated almost all of his winning sum to charity in hopes of preserving tropical rainforests in West Africa, as well as forests in his native country of France. The winner founded the Anyama endowment fund, naming it after a town in Côte d’Ivoire where he spent a significant part of his life. “The protection and revitalization of forests, the preservation and regeneration of biodiversity and the support of family caregivers [are what the fund will be working on],” he said. “I only played during large jackpots, for one purpose: to devote most of this sum to the creation of a foundation,” he wrote in an open letter on the fund’s website.
That said, he’s the first winner to do such an amazing deed. Not only did EuroMillions not his outstanding compassion, but the France national lottery. “We have never seen an initiative of this size, but there again, we have rarely seen such high winnings,” said an operator of the France national lottery. “Often, these things go hand-in-hand.” The good Samaritan’s jackpot became the second-largest in the history of the lottery. However, the French man, simply named “Guy” by the internet and media, didn’t recently win the lottery, he has been sitting on his millions for some time.
The 2020 Lottery Jackpot
In December 2020 is when “Guy” actually won the lottery. At the time, the French newspaper, The Connexion, only revealed that he was a retiree living in the south of France. Originally, “Guy” planned to donate a part of the sum to hospitals. “Seeing the happy people around me is the greatest reward. When the money falls from the sky, something must be done with it to help those who are not so lucky. Otherwise, it doesn’t make sense,” the lottery winner said, according to The Connexion.
Now, two years later, the Frenchman decided what he would really do with his millions. He donated the majority of his winnings to prevent logging among many other issues in forests. “During my life, I have witnessed in Ivory Coast the incessant passage of trucks loaded with trees cut in the forests of Burkina Faso. This ballet of trucks marked me a lot, outraged me,” he wrote.
The France national lottery approved and confirmed his donation. But what about the rest of the sum? Well, the money went to his family and close friends. In 2020, the winner bought his daughter a new car and helped some relatives in need. Otherwise, the money didn’t change his lifestyle at all. In the open letter he wrote to the Anyama foundation, he said that he’ll “continue to live peacefully, in the most total discretion.
“Above all, it is the expression of a conviction that I want to share with as many people as possible: giving makes people happy, and constitutes a tremendous lever for transforming indignation into concrete and useful actions,” the man said, per Euro News.