A French man who scored €200 million ($217 million) in the EuroMillions lottery decided to use his massive winnings for the greater good.
The winner, only known as “Guy,” gave away most of his fortune to save the Earth by fighting climate change.
Guy is a retired man who lives in the south part of France. He was already an environmentalist long before he won the lottery.
“From my point of view, the priority today is saving the planet,” he told Le Parisien. “We must act. It is an emergency. It is an absolute emergency. If nothing is done, all other actions will be in vain. We will no longer exist.”
He created an endowment fund to “support and act with those who want to protect the living and the links that unite man and nature in the long term.”
This led to the creation of the Anyama Foundation, named after a city in Côte d’Ivoire in West Africa, where Guy is assumed to have lived. The organization seeks to reduce climate change’s impact and protect the global environment.
After constantly seeing trucks loaded with cut trees passing by Ivory Coast, Guy was “outraged” and was moved to do something for the environment.
“The Anyama endowment fund is the result of an imperious desire to act for nature and human beings that I have had for years,” Guy wrote in an open letter posted on the foundation’s website.
“Above all, it is the expression of a conviction that I want to share with as many people as possible: giving makes people happy, and constitutes a tremendous lever for transforming indignation into concrete and useful actions,” he continued.
Guy says that Guy will use the money to stop logging, restore and protect forests, and increase biodiversity on the French mainland and in other overseas territories.
The lucky draw was held on December 11, 2020. However, the details of Guy’s win have only been revealed recently. Guy stated that he only played during large jackpots because he wanted to use his winnings to start a foundation.
He won the lottery with numbers 6, 9, 13, 24, 41, and 41. His lucky stars were 3, and 12.
Guy won the largest EuroMillions prize ever. Since Guy’s win, two players from Tahiti (Switzerland) have exceeded it. They respectively won €210 million ($228.35 million) and €220 million ($239.22 million) in 2021.
La Française des Jeux (FDJ), the French public company that manages lottery and sports betting, later confirmed the exceptionally generous move. However, it wasn’t revealed how much money Guy earmarked for the organization.
“Seeing the happy people around me is the greatest reward. It is important to do something with the money that falls from the sky to help those less fortunate. Otherwise, it doesn’t make sense,” he said, as reported by The Connexion.
Isabelle Cesari, FDJ’s person in charge of relations to the winners, stated that it is common for lottery winnings to donate a portion to various charitable or social causes.
The rest of Guy’s winnings were used to purchase a holiday residence, buy a new car for his daughter, help relatives who needed financial support, and travel around the country.
Guy also announced plans for donating a portion his fortune to hospitals.
Being an overnight millionaire didn’t change Guy, who said that he planned to “continue to live peacefully, in the most total discretion.” He doesn’t want recognition and still enjoys the simple things in life, including spending time with his family and walking through the forest.
“My dream has never been to acquire boats, castles or other sports cars, it is to be useful and to give meaning to this money, with maximum positive impact,” he said.
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