Do you ever wonder what lottery winners do with the money after they hit the jackpot?
We can't vouch for all of them, but Roy Cockrum, the winner of largest jackpot in Tennessee Lottery history, said he would use his fortune to help others. And in less than a month, he has already made good on his promise.
Knox County Schools announced Tuesday that two unprecedented donations were made to Teacher Supply Depot.
A $15,000 donation came from Cockrum; the other $5,000 donation came from the Clinton Highway Kroger where Cockrum purchased the winning ticket.
Cockrum said his sister was the inspiration behind his gift.
"My sister is a retired teacher and school administrator, so I am very aware of the personal sacrifices teachers make to run their classrooms," Cockrum said in a Knox County Schools release.
The Teacher Supply Deport provides Knox County teachers and others with new and used classroom materials at no charge.
Earlier this month, 58-year-old Cockrum became a millionaire, a hundred-times over. Twenty-two days after he won, Cockrum presented his winning $259.8 million Powerball ticket at the Tennessee lottery offices on July 3. Cockrum chose the lump sum option and took home more than $115 million after taxes.
The lottery winner said he would make large donations to a set list of charities. Cockrum added that the majority of the fortune would go to a foundation that supports performing arts organizations across the U.S.
The 58-year-old is a West High School graduate who left Knoxville to attend Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. For more than 20 years, he worked as an actor and stage manager before he entered religious service with the Society of St. John the Evangelist, an Episcopal religious community in Cambridge, Mass.
"I really believe the best way to prepare for this tsunami of cash has been to live under a vow of poverty for a number of years," Cockrum said in the press release. "It gives great perspective."
Cockrum returned to Knoxville in 2009 to help his aging parents. He said he will follow his father's advice while managing his fortune.
"My father passed away in 2010, and essentially, I am following his rule about money management: tithe a tenth, save a tenth, and spend the rest wisely," Cockrum said.
Like Cockrum, the Clinton Highway Kroger said it plans to help the community with the money it won from the lottery, splitting up the $25,000 prize among five local charities.
"We were thrilled to be able to support five local charities, including Teacher Supply Depot," said Kroger spokesperson Melissa Eads in a release. "We know many students return to school without the supplies they need, so we hope that this donations help teachers take care of many of those needs."