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Benedict Trustee Wins The Lottery and Donates Proceeds to College

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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