Earl Livingston, an 87-year-old from South Jersey, is currently in the middle of a very strange state of affairs. It all started on Tuesday when the elderly gentleman was out for a stroll.
He was on his way to a store to buy a ticket for the Mega Millions lottery, but he took a very unfortunate turn. He fell, breaking his hip.
He was taken to the Jefferson Stratford Hospital in New Jersey, ticketless and with a major injury. All hope of participating in the lottery seemed gone.
When the staff heard about the reason Mr. Livingston had been out, and realized he hadn’t gotten his ticket after all, they let him join their pool — a nice gesture, regardless of the outcome.
But they won.
Marianne Kraemer, a nurse administrator, told CBS that she was shocked. “I didn’t believe it at first,” she said, “then I started thinking, ‘Oh my, what are we going to do with all this?’”
“Look, I got goosebumps,” a nurse named Steve Grill said. “It’s awesome because a lot of people could use the money — holidays coming up — it’s good to help other people.”
Their group ticket matched everything but the Powerball, keeping the 1.5 billion out of reach, but gifting each member of the pool a tidy $4,800 after federal and local taxes.
And because of the group’s kindness, one of those recipients is Mr. Livingston. His nieces, MaryAnn Bartnick and Bobbie Mickle, were surprised that the staff had been so generous.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Bartnick said. “I kept saying that I could not believe, it’s just kind and nice and it’s nice to know there are still good people in this world. It’s wonderful we can’t thank them enough.”
“We were overwhelmed and humbled that they did this,” Mickle said. “They didn’t have to put money in for him, they didn’t have to tell him he won, they’re just honest good people and it’s just a heartwarming story that there are nice people in this world.”
Thursday night, Livingston had surgery on his hip, but he has a nice little windfall to look forward to. When asked what he planned to spend his $4,800 on, his response was practical: taxes.
Others have more romantic plans, and for Nurse Grill, this win means a family vacation set in stone and already funded.
“We’re going to Disney, really yes, taking the kids in August,” he said.
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