Benedict Trustee Wins The Lottery and Donates Proceeds to College
Powerball is played in South Carolina, where Benedict College is located. But it was a ticket bought in Louisville that produced a $200,003 payday for the school.
Charlie Johnson, chairman of the board at the predominantly Black liberal-arts school in Columbia and a wealthy Louisville businessman, picked the first five numbers drawn in December, but not the Powerball. The prize was $200,000.
Johnson and Dr. David Swinton, Benedict’s president, showed up at Kentucky Lottery headquarters in Louisville to claim the prize, plus $3 from another ticket. Johnson had the lottery make the check out to the college.
Johnson, 61, who founded Active Transportation in 1987 and sold his interest in the multimillion-dollar trucking firm in 2000, says he occasionally plays Powerball as a lark.
“I was shocked that I won,” he says. Swinton says Benedict College will use the money to help pay for a $10 million football stadium that will be named for Johnson, who has been on the board for 10 years, the past six as chairman.
Johnson says he had given a total of $1 million in the past three years to fund the stadium, which is nearing completion.
Swinton says the donation was “great news. … Charlie called me right before Christmas. It was a wonderful present.” Johnson’s ticket had 38 as the Powerball, only one digit off from the number chosen — 18.
He says if he had won the full jackpot, worth $15 million that day, he probably would have set up a charitable foundation to distribute the money to local charities that he helps.
— Associated Press
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