Tennessee Jackpot Winner Vows to Give it Away

Jul 07, 14 Tennessee Jackpot Winner Vows to Give it Away

July 7, 2014 – Last Thursday in Nashville, Tenn., a Knoxville man claimed the largest lottery jackpot ever won in the state.  Roy Cockrum won a $259.8 million Powerball jackpot on June 11, but he says he won’t be keeping the prize to himself.

Instead Cockrum, 58, said he’ll use most of his $153.5 million lump sum payment to start a foundation which will support performing arts organizations around the country.

Cockrum told Lottery officials Thursday that he had worked for 20 years as an actor and stage manager.  Now that he’s a millionaire many times over, he said he’s “very excited to work on this project with longtime friends experienced in supporting the arts.”

As for the remainder of the big win, it won’t be sitting in Cockrum’s bank account.  “Brother Roy,” as he’s known within The Society of Saint John the Evangelist – a Cambridge, Mass., based religious community – took a vow of poverty years ago.  He said living under that vow “gives great perspective” and prepared him well for what he called a “tsunami of cash.”

He told Lottery officials that after setting up a pension fund for himself, he also has a long list of charities to which he’ll donate.

Cockrum bought his jackpot winning ticket at a Kroger store in his hometown of Knoxville.  Just like the big winner, the owners of that store decided charity was the best option for the prize they won for selling a jackpot-winning ticket.

The store received $25,000 and divided it equally between five local charities, according to a Tennessee Lottery press release.


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Written by Matt Isaacs

Matt is the Editorial Manager for the LotteryHUB News Team. Matt graduated from Rutgers University’s School of Journalism and Media Studies in May 2013



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