A recent EuroMillions lottery winner scored one of the largest prizes possible. Instead of spending the money on yachts, mansions and fancy clothes, however, he is giving away most of his fortune to save the planet.
People respond to newfound wealth in different ways. Some go on shopping sprees; some decide to save the money for a rainy day. There are also those who believe they should have never won and sue the very lottery that made them rich.
Then there’s a guy from France. Guy, the nickname he gave himself, won €200 million (US$217 million) in the EuroMillions lottery. He’s using his fortune to improve the environment.
Mega Jackpot Goes to Climate Change
A French man hit it big in a recent EuroMillions draw, according to Spain’s La Vanguardia media outlet. He could have purchased a chateau in the French Riviera overlooking the Mediterranean or even a vineyard in Bordeaux. He went a completely different route.
It was in the draw on December 11, 2020, when the lucky draw occurred. He had a one in 140 million chance of finding the right combination and winning the jackpot of €200 million, a record at the time.
Since then, two players, in Switzerland and Tahiti, have done even better. They won €210 million and €220 million (US$228.35 million and US$239.22 million), respectively, in 2021.
Not much is known about Guy, who apparently likes his anonymity. He is reportedly a man from the south of France who already had an interest in environmental protection. Now, with an instant windfall of cash, he was able to increase that interest.
Guy subsequently decided to create an endowment fund to, in his words, “support and act with those who want to protect the living and the links that unite Man and nature in the long term.” That led to the creation of the Anyama Foundation, named after a city in Côte d’Ivoire.
The Anyama Foundation targets the protection of the environment globally and the reduction of the impact of climate change. The news was later confirmed by La Française des Jeux (FDJ), the French public company to which the government granted a monopoly on lotteries and sports betting. How much of the money Guy earmarked for the organization, however, has not been revealed.
French Winners Regularly Give Winnings Away
The person at the FDJ in charge of relations with the winners, Isabelle Cesari, commented that it is common that lottery winners decide to donate part of their fortune to a variety of charitable and even social causes. Cesari gave as an example the case of a person who earned a fortune at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, but decided to allocate a large part of it to buy face masks and give them away.
Guy didn’t give all his money to charity, either. He allowed himself the luxury of owning a holiday residence and traveling around the country.
However, it seems that his new fortune has not changed him. He reportedly continues to enjoy the same things, including spending time with his family and walking through the forest.
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