$260M Powerball winner vows to do good

By | August 27, 2009

Former state worker Solomon Jackson says he doesn't think the money will change him.The retiree who won the $259.9 million Powerball lottery in South Carolina went to the store where he got the winning ticket for its cheap gas.”I wanted to save my 3 cents a gallon,” Solomon Jackson said Tuesday of his stop at Murphy USA gas station, which followed a stop at his favorite store: Wal-Mart.

“It’s the savings place, for those of y’all that don’t know,” Jackson told reporters at a lottery claims center in Columbia, S.C.

Jackson, a former assistant supervisor at the state Department of Revenue, now has the happy task of figuring out what to do with the quarter-billion dollars he won in the Aug. 19 Powerball drawing. He shelled out $2 for the win.

During a news conference, Jackson said he would use some of the money to support education programs in South Carolina and would find ways to help others with his winnings.

But Jackson, a life-long resident of Columbia, vowed that the money would not go to his head. He said he didn’t need to buy a Cadillac because he already had one.

Despite the win, Jackson still drove to a western suburb, Lexington, for a $35 deal on tire alignment.

“Some winners anticipate a change. But I’ll still be Solomon,” he said.

He was guarded about his personal life, refusing to say how old he was, not talking much about his family and declining to say whether he would take the winnings in a lump sum or spread out over 30 years.

He said he was one of 12 children, and when asked if he had children or grandchildren, he simply said: “There’s a few of them.” He said he hadn’t even told his friends and family yet.

Mostly he spoke of how he will use his new wealth to help others out.

“I won’t do a bunch with it, but somebody’s going to be blessed,” he said.

– via USA Today

This is interesting to me because I was just playing a game of “What would you do with a BILLION DOLLARS” over dinner tonight.  My friend would take a trip around the world. The first thing that came to mind for me was to help a sick friend. Then to buy another friend a car.  Then to get myself a house in the forest with a Zorkian Great Underground Empire under it. I’d charge admission and use the proceeds to fund education.  I’d give at least one million to anti-aging research. I’d fund birth control, human rights groups like Amnesty Int’l, alternative energy, and health research efforts world wide. I’d hire a team to run a web site that shows quick summaries of the smaller breakthroughs needed to accomplish bigger human goals: Peace, a clean environment, energy, food, health, freedom, anti-gravity, finding a back up planet, radiation neutralization,  organ regeneration, new worthwhile forms of entertainment, etc. We are not leveraging the web as we could. So much wasted brain power. Let everyone get in on the excitement of these quests. I’d give prizes for progress, milestones!

The second part of the game is to ask if you are presently doing what you can with what you have to accomplish your wildest goals. No, I’m not. But I’ve started thinking in a new direction.

If you could do anything, if money was no object, what would you do? Go do it!

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