W. Va. Winners, Strangers, Choose to Share Prizes
Jan. 10, 2014 – Three men chosen as finalists in the West Virginia Lottery’s $1 Million Dollar Monopoly Millionaire second chance contest shocked lottery officials and the media when they announced Thursday they would be sharing the prizes evenly, after meeting only just before the prizes were awarded.
Josh Schoolcraft, Douglas Schafer and Todd Kingrey were chosen as the three finalists in the Lottery’s Monopoly second chance promotion, which offered a $1 million grand prize, a $100,000 second prize and a $10,000 third prize. Each of the three men had to choose from envelopes; hidden inside were checks showing one of the three prize amounts.
Josh Schoolcraft, a 21-year-old resident of Given, W. Va., chose first, and when the three opened their envelopes, his was written out in the amount of $1 million. Then, Schoolcraft stunned the crowd.
“I just want to announce that I am going to share the money with the others,” he said.
Kingrey, who drew the $100,000 prize, and Shafer with his $10,000 prize also said they’d be sharing their winnings, a plan Shafer said they’d all agreed to just before revealing their hidden prizes.
“We thought this would be a good way to make sure not one of us leaves unhappy,” Schafer said during a press conference. He added that he thought the decision showed “true West Virginia spirit.”
After divvying up the winnings between themselves, each of the three men walked away from the Lottery’s headquarters with about $253,450 after taxes.