Horrible lottery winners spending all their money on drugs and gambling or causing a media sensation by their outrageously boorish behavior saturates the news. It’s rare that a story about a lottery winner comes along that warms your heart. We have Alun Jones to thank for the most recent of these faith-restoring tales.
Alun Jones, a 30-year old lottery winner from Ancoats, was jogging in Manchester on 28 March. He said that he almost decided not to do his daily run, since it was Easter Monday and he felt more like staying in during the bank holiday. Luckily for Neville Tyldesley, Jones decided against lazing about and jogged down his normal route.
Tyldesley, an 80-year-old great-grandfather, is blind and suffers from dementia. He was released from the Manchester Royal Infirmary that day and took a taxi back home. Unfortunately, Tyldesley gave the taxi driver an old home address. After he was dropped off, Tyldesley became confused and fell into the very cold waters of the Rochdale Canal.
In a lifesaving twist of fate, Alun Jones was jogging near the canal and saw Mr Tyldesley face down and bleeding – his body was partially in the water. Jones rushed over and pulled the soaked man fully out of the water. Other than some cuts, the man appeared to be okay and did not want an ambulance called. The two men then were directed to friends of the Tyldesley family, who quickly came to pick up their father.
This is not the first time Jones was in the right place at the right time. Two years ago, he bought a winning lottery ticket and took home a £1.1 million UK Lotto jackpot. “I don’t consider myself lucky, someone has to win the lottery. But I suppose it was very fortunate to have rescued Neville,” he said when asked by the press if he felt lucky.
When Alun Jones isn’t winning the lottery or saving lives, he studies horticulture. Here’s hoping his luck continues to grow in the future!
Other lottery winners who have made a positive impact:
* Roy Cockrum – What would a former monk do if they won the lottery? This was question was answered in June 2014 when Roy Cockrum won a $259.8 million Powerball jackpot. He quickly created a foundation with the sole purpose of giving away all the money. The foundation has donated to several organisations and theatres.
* Tom Crist – A billionaire wins the lottery. Sounds pretty unfair, huh? However everyone won when Tom Crist, a former CEO of a major Canadian electric company, won CAD$40 million playing Lotto Max in May 2013. He donated all the money to cancer charities and the hospital that treated his wife, who had recently passed away.
* Sheelah Ryan – Talk about paying it forward. In 1988, Sheelah Ryan won a $55 million Florida Lotto jackpot. At the time, this was the largest lottery prize won by a single player. Like Cockrum, Ryan set up a foundation which she used to donate her entire winnings to charities for underprivileged kids, victims of domestic violence, and stray animals. Ryan died in 1994, leaving behind a legacy far exceeding her financial net worth.
What about you? What would you do if you won the lottery? Would you go on with your life as it is right now? Maybe not exactly! But, how will it change?
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