When blankets arrived for the homeless and new cars appeared for those in need, people in the city of Terrace in British Columbia thought it must be magic.
It turned out the magic was coming from Bob Erb, 60, who won $25-million in a national lottery called Lotto Max.
Erb believes in sharing his wealth. In fact, since he won the lottery about a month ago, he’s given away more than $7-million.
He has given money to the staff at the gas station where he bought the ticket. He gave $20,000 to the man who sold him the ticket. He’s given money and shoes to the homeless. And he’s helped support more than a dozen local businesses.
Erb has been buying lottery tickets for more than 40 years. One day, the clerk he bought the ticket from accidentally rang up more “plays” than Erb had asked for. But he let it ride. And it’s a good thing he did, because one of those plays hit the $25-million jackpot.
Erb’s generosity has helped his whole community. The new vehicles he bought and gave away helped the car sellers have a better year. And if people he chose didn’t need the vans, they passed them on to someone else in need.
Erb has lived in the area for many years and generosity is nothing new to him, according to people who know him. On a recent visit to a seniors’ centre for lunch, Erb ate his soup and sandwich and then wrote a cheque for $20,000 to help out the centre.
Erb said the money wouldn’t change him. His friends agree. They say he believes in ‘paying forward’ or sharing good luck and inspiring others to do the same.
Erb has put some of the money into a trust fund for his grandchildren, and he has invested $10-million of it in stocks so he can use the interest to keep helping people.
By Kathleen Tilly
A well-known idiom (a saying) is: It is better to give than receive. Connect this saying to Erb’s story.
Do agree with this idiom? Why or why not?
Reading Prompt: Responding to and Evaluating Texts
What would you do if you were Erb and you won the $25-million jackpot?
Express personal opinions about ideas presented in texts (OME, Reading: 1.8).
Make judgements and draw conclusions about the ideas and information in texts and cite stated or implied evidence from the text to support their views (OME, Reading: 1.8).
Grammar Feature: Conjunctions
A conjunction is a part of speech, such as: and, or, yet, but, for, so.
Some people believe that you should not start a sentence with a conjunction. Other people say that is a grammar myth.
Read this article, which includes a few sentences that start with conjunctions, and make an argument for or against this belief.