More than a year ago, Tom Crist, a resident of Calgary, Alberta won the CA$40 million jackpot of the Western Canada Lottery Corporation (WCLC) May 3, 2013 Lotto Max draw, and committed to give his entire winnings to charity. At that time, the 64-year old lottery winner was the Chief Executive Officer of EECOL, a Canadian electrical wholesale company in Calgary, which according to him made him already financially fortunate throughout his 44-years of service, even before the CA$40 million Lotto max win.
Prior to his retirement in September 2013 from his executive job, Mr. Crist had bought lottery tickets on a yearly subscription, presumably with intentions of donating any winnings to different charitable organizations through the charity foundation he established after his wife Janice succumbed to a cancer disease in 2012. The lottery winner’s desire is to see his Crist Family Foundation go on for years in helping cancer sufferers and their families meet financial burdens not covered by medical insurance.
As a lotto ticket subscriber, WCLC checked his ticket numbers for him and notified him if any of his subscriptions won. In fact, when he was notified of his win, the Canadian philanthropist did not even know which lottery game, or which ticket won the jackpot. He was sure of only one thing, all the money would go to charity.
Although Tom had wanted to keep the win a secret, especially from his children, he had to abide by the rules of the lottery corporation in order to protect the integrity of the lottery games. WCLC requires winners of major lottery prize to give WCLC the right to publish the winner’s name, town or city residence and most recent photo. The purpose of which is to show proof that lottery jackpots are won by real people coming from all walks of life.
First in Tom’s list of beneficiaries is the Calgary-based Tom Baker Cancer Centre (TBCC), the comprehensive cancer care facility for South Alberta that helped care for Tom’s wife. His foundation funneled a CA$1.2 million donation through the Alberta Cancer Foundation (ACF). He also gave a hefty sum to ACF’s Patient Financial Assistance Program, which provides support to cancer patients not only in terms of medical costs, but also in easing the costs of living during their treatment.
The ACF disclosed that part of the money donated by Mr. Crist also went to the Tomorrow Project, the largest research project in Alberta, which aims to unravel the causes of cancer and other chronic diseases, as a way of providing Albertans with new ways of preventing cancer and other continuing illnesses.
To ensure that his foundation will be able to provide constant financial support for years, the forward-thinking Canadian philanthropist, through the Crist Family Foundation made a multi-million dollar personal investment in Kidoodle TV. The family-focused video-in demand streaming service provider supplies age-appropriate shows to families, who have children going through long-term medical treatment. Mr. Crist believes that in working with companies like Kidoodle TV, they can find opportunities to help kids and families, and at the same time stretch the Crist Family Foundation’s resources.