When three wealth managers from a tony Connecticut suburb won the $254 million Powerball lottery recently, it put the argument at the heart of the Occupy protests into stark focus: The rich keep winning—even at games of chance—while the poor can't seem to catch a break. But it turns out that Greg Skidmore, Brandon Lacoff and Tim Davidson—the three men who jointly claimed the jackpot—might be more benevolent than anyone expected.
On Sunday, less than a week after coming forward to accept their lump-sum payment of $103.5 million after taxes, the winners announced they were already set to give away $1 million, and that future donations are in the works. The Putnam Avenue Family Trust, which the trio created to hold its winnings, is donating $200,000 to each of five nonprofits that work with veterans and their families. "Many of these veterans are faced with a myriad of real and immediate personal issues that range from trauma to foreclosures. These grant awards reflect the beginning of a process that allows us to leverage lottery winnings into materially helping our society," the men said in a statement only an MBA grad could have written.
Skidmore, Lacoff, and Davidson winning the jackpot drew many calls of "Not fair!" on the internet, but the three men's charity is cause to consider whether it's better that a team of wealth managers ended up with the cash. Had the millions gone to one person with no financial acumen, it's likely the money would have been used far less effectively, and perhaps more selfishly. With three guys who don't really need more money treating the winnings like a nonprofit grantor, everyone wins.
Photo via Connecticut Lottery