Man Donates Majority of $217m Lottery Jackpot to Planet Earth

  • A man known as “Guy” originally won the jackpot in December 2020
  • His donation has gone to a charity he created called “Anyama”
  • The charity will focus on combating deforestation
  • The jackpot is the second-largest in EuroMillion history
EuroMillions lottery ticket and cash
A French man is donating the majority of his $217m in lottery winnings to a foundation he created to fight deforestation. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

An anonymous philanthropist

A man who won the $217m lottery jackpot in France has donated a majority of his winnings to charity.

his donation goes toward creating a global environmental protection foundation

The anonymous lucky winner known as “Guy” took home the second-largest purse in France’s EuroMillions history. His donation goes toward creating a global environmental protection foundation, per Le Parisien.

“Guy” won the lottery back in December 2020 and had 120 days to claim his prize; around that time, French newspaper The Connexion noted that he was a retiree living in the south of the country and intended to donate some of his newfound money to hospitals. Now, he has tackled the question of how to spend the majority of such a massive fortune. 

Spending the $217m jackpot

The mysterious lottery winner appears to be quite the philanthropist, based on his actions.

He spoke to The Connexion to share his thoughts on divvying up the money to hospitals and others in need.

When the money falls from the sky, something must be done with it to help those who are not so lucky.”

 “Seeing the happy people around me is the greatest reward. When the money falls from the sky, something must be done with it to help those who are not so lucky,” Guy said. “Otherwise, it doesn’t make sense.”

The new environmental protection foundation is called “Anyama,” named after a city in Côte d’Ivoire (the Ivory Coast). It is assumed that the hundred-millionaire either lived or spent time in the French-African country.

“The Anyama endowment fund is the result of an imperious desire to act for nature and human beings that I have had for years,” the anonymous man wrote in a mission statement 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.”

Luck of the draw

The lottery is one of the most well-known and simple forms of gambling participation. It has also birthed some of the craziest stories in entertainment, such as a woman winning $10m because she pressed the wrong button.

Guy revealed that he only played the lottery with the intention of donating his winnings if he struck gold.

“I only played during large jackpots, for one purpose: to devote most of this sum to the creation of a foundation,” he said. 

The focus of Anyama will be to prevent logging and rebuild deforested areas that used to be thriving with greenery. This has been a major issue all over the world. but especially in Africa.

This ballet of trucks marked me a lot, outraged me.”

“During my life, I have witnessed in Ivory Coast the incessant passage of trucks loaded with trees cut in the forests of Burkina Faso. This ballet of trucks marked me a lot, outraged me,” Guy said.

La Française des Jeux— a company that handles lotteries in France— confirmed the anonymous Frenchman’s donation. 

Back in 2020, Guy said that he would first use his money to take care of those closest to him; for him, this meant buying his daughter a new car and supporting relatives in need. In the letter on Anyama’s website, he said that he will “continue to live peacefully, in the most total discretion.”

The jackpot victory marked the largest in EuroMillions in history at the time, eclipsing the old record of $206m. A $239m sum in October 2021 eventually broke that record.