LISTEN: Interview with lottery winner Tom Crist
CALGARY- He took everyone—including his own children—by surprise when it was revealed he’s donating a staggering $40 million to charity. However, those who know Tom Crist best say they wouldn’t have expected anything less.
“You gotta tell a secret, that’s the one guy you tell a secret to. We had no idea,” says son Dallas Crist, who says he learned about his father’s big win from his wife, who saw it on the news. “He is the most secretive man on the planet.”
Tom Crist won the Lotto Max jackpot back in May, but the news didn’t emerge until Monday. He has decided to use the multi-million dollar payday to fund a charitable trust he started, following the death of his wife Janice, who lost her cancer battle nearly two years ago.
“The one charity that’s dear to my heart obviously is cancer, especially Tom Baker [Cancer Centre], because they looked after [my wife]…” Tom Crist said, his voice cracking with emotion. “It’s just a fund that will go on and on and on for years and years to come.”
A father of four, Crist also has six grandchildren with a seventh due in February. He says he’s glad that the whole family can be involved in the trust, for decades to come.
“I just want that to go on and on and on, for years and years, so kids and grandkids can donate out of that fund.”
Crist has been enjoying retirement since September, after serving as president and CO of an electricity company for 44 years. He says he doesn’t need the $40 million dollars himself, and is glad he can put it to good use.
“I’ve been very fortunate [financially] prior to this $40 million dollars with the company I was with, so I’m very lucky, very fortunate, so I can look after myself and that’s why I started [the trust].”
Next up for Crist is a jaunt to southeast Asia—which he swears was in the plans before he learned of his huge lotto win. He hasn’t wasted any time distributing the prize money, paying a visit to Calgary’s Tom Baker Cancer Centre on Tuesday morning, to give a sizeable donation.