Do you keep your eyes on the lottery jackpots? Perhaps, you love watching the Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots increase week after week. On my commute, there is a billboard the shouts what the winner will take home before taxes. And I feel myself getting eager for that massive amount of cash as the number rises from 100 million to 200 million and sometimes all the way to $1.5 billion, as it had earlier in 2018.
While gamblers around the country shelled out untold amounts of cash to take home the winning jackpot, 126 nurses pooled their money to increase their chances of winning. They all worked at a neonatal intensive care unit and were looking for some money to supplement their lives – just like we all do when playing the lottery.
When the numbers were picked, the nurses were thrilled. Although they did not win the jackpot – far from it – they won a smaller prize that would give their finances a wonderful boost as the holiday season approached. Their prize was $10,000.
After the winnings got put through the taxes and fees, the 126 nurses walked away with a measly $50 each. You can imagine how disappointing that was for them after thinking they would come home with so much cash.
However, these nurses decided to do something special with their money. They did not buy themselves the latest bestselling book or upgrade their footwear, they decided to put their money to use as a team – and it made a huge difference for people in need.
NICU nurse Stephanie Brinkman, one of the lottery winners, spoke to KMOV News about how $50 would hardly do anything for their lives. It would purchase a fine bottle of wine, but that’s about it.
Instead, the nurses wondered what would happen if they pooled their cash and gave the winnings to the two nurses who needed it the most. If they did that, they’d have $6,300, which means $3,150 would go to the two nurses who needed it the most.
The nurses determined that donating the cash was what should happen.
“We never thought in a million years we would win anything at all and then we came one number away from winning $1.6 billion. The majority said, ‘Let’s give it to our co-workers, our family, the ones that are in biggest need,’ so that’s what we decided to do.”
One nurse named Gretchen Post and another named Casey Orellana were determined to be the neediest among the group.
“I know it’s not $1.6 billion dollars but here is what we have to offer you. Hopefully, it’ll help.”
Casey’s husband Phil had recently been diagnosed with cancer. And he is not doing well. During an interview with KMOV, he said, “Since July, I have not been able to work. I have been getting various other treatments for would care and at the same time, I had also found out the cancer had spread to my lungs.”
The cash winnings will cover medical costs for Phil’s expensive treatments.
Meanwhile, Gretchen will use the money to pay for her son’s funeral. Her boy, Jack Post, was just seventeen when he died. He had fought with depression and decided to take his young life.
Gretchen told her heartbreaking story to KMOV, “My son on October 23, died by suicide. Jack always had a smile on his face. He did not lead anyone on that this would happen. (The cash is) actually going to pay for Jack’s funeral, which I’m very grateful for.”
These nurses proved they are good people to share the money the way they did.