Saskatoon lottery winners give back to community

 Watch above: Lotto 6/49 winners give back to community

SASKATOON – Winning a big lottery is enough to start thinking about buying penthouses and taking lavish vacations, but when Saskatoon lawyer Donald Worme won $14.7 million in Lotto 6/49 just over a year ago, he didn’t even retire.

“I have a business to run, I have children to look after, I intend to super-charge my law firm. There isn’t really anything I need. I’ve worked hard all of my career, and I’ve purchased things that I’ve desired,” he said last November.

Worme is well-known for his work defending aboriginal rights. His family’s jackpot was the largest lottery prize ever won by a ticket purchased in Saskatoon.

His daughter Rheana Worme said she’s very proud of him.

“He’s done it first and foremost for his family. He’s been always thoughtful of us, and what his accomplishments can mean for us, and what kind of implications they have on the larger community,” she said.

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Donald and his wife Helen Semaganis spent months planning how they would manage their winnings.

Eventually, they decided to create the Amiskusees Semaganis-Worme Family Foundation, which their five children run.

The foundation awarded $250,000 this year to various causes.

“We’ve mostly taken in donation requests and accepted ones that are focused around the arts, culture, and academic endeavors,” said Rheana Worme, the couple’s daughter.

The foundation recently awarded $20,000 to the Saskatchewan Native Theatre Company to help fund initiatives like the “Circle of Voices.”

“It’s an after-school program, so we primarily get youth from high school, but we also have youth from the university,” said Alan Long, the company’s general manager.

Theatre company managers said the money will go a long way.

“That $20,000 is for our programming, so we can do all those great things with the youth – hire good professional people for our shows, provide mentorship opportunities for the youth, and all that,” Long explained.

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