Feb 252014

Tyrone Curry

What would you do if you won the lottery?

If you’re like most then you probably can easily recite exactly what you would spend the money on as you’ve spent countless times thinking about what you would spend your winnings on and how better your life would be.

I’m sure the first thing you’d do is quit your job, that’s what anyone would do right?

Well, that’s not true for Tyrone Curry.

Tyrone Curry is the janitor at Evergreen High School and seven years ago he won $3.4 million playing the Washington State’s Lottery Quinto Game.

Tyrone Curry and His Wife Michele posing with the ceremonial copy of the check

Talking about the exact moment that he had found out that he had won he said “I was dumping garbage. Just like today. This is where I was when I found out I won the jackpot and took off running.”

If you just found out you had won $3.4 million you’d more than likely want to celebrate big and go out for a fancy dinner and splash that new cash but when it came to Tyrone he decided to celebrate by going bowling like he has done every Wednesday night for 25 years.

Of course many of his colleagues expected him to quit his job and live a life of luxury and it’s natural to say then that they were shocked when he decided to keep his janitorial job and keep waking up at 4am each morning in order to raise the school’s flag and get on with his work.

His main motivation for staying on is because by doing his job he gets to help people and as he says “You can have something but that person next to you might not have anything. If you look out for that someone, they’ll look out for you.”

So, what did he do with his money then?

Well, during the time that he won he was in deep debt and going through bankruptcy, so he used some of the money to enable him to be debt free.

He didn’t go out and buy himself a new home, instead he still lives in the same house he was living in seven years ago and just spent some of his winning to get a new heat pump, a new fence and a new driveway.

The biggest amount his spent his winnings on have actually not been for himself instead it was spent on the school that he works at.

You see not only is Tyrone the schools janitor but he is also their track coach and he spent $40,000 on building a new track for the school.

Mr Curry showing off the certificate he received for paying to build the school a new track.

Mr Curry showing off the certificate he received for paying to build the school a new track.

Not only that but he also paid the college fees for DeVante Botello, who is the captain of his track team, whose mother unfortunately passed away from a heart attack.

Speaking about Mr Curry, DeVante said “Whatever I do with my life is gonna be in honor of Tyrone. He is always gonna live on through my actions. I wish I was as good as him. I work for it. I work for it every day. Tyrone Curry, track coach, janitor. I’m never going to forget him.”

I think we can all learn something from Mr Curry. Many of us think that money will be the cure to all our problems and that we would be much happier if we had a ton of cash but the studies out there show that money doesn’t buy you happiness, actually instead one study that compared the happiness of lottery winners one year after winning and the happiness of paraplegics one year after losing their legs, found that the lottery winners were only just as happy.

Think about what really makes you happy in life and if you do happen to come into a lot of money don’t make the mistake of stopping doing those things, instead be like Tyrone and keep on doing what you love.

What would you do if you won that kind of money?

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