Janitor Keeps Job After Winning $3.4 Million in Lottery [Video]

janitor wins lottery When most people win millions in the lottery, they think of paying off debts, buying a big new house, maybe a couple of cars, and most of all, quitting their jobs. But not Tyrone Curry. Five years after he won $3.4 million, he still lives in the same small house and drives the same old car he did before he won -- and he still works at the same job -- as a janitor at a Seattle high school.

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Of course, some things changed. He bit at a phone solicitation for a time-share in Las Vegas, but he's never used it. He's too busy helping family and friends and the kids at Evergreen High School, where, in addition to custodial duties (for which he rises at 4:00 a.m.), he also coaches track.

Curry's one big splurge since he won the money? Spending $40,000 to replace the school's old cinder track. He'd also like to expand the school's tennis courts -- there are only four, with over 100 kids wanting to play on them.

He did spend a little of the money on himself. He and his wife Michelle were in the middle of bankruptcy when he won the lottery, so he settled that, then put in a new heat pump, added vinyl siding, a new fence and a new driveway to the small house they live in with a 2-year-old grandson, two stepsons and two in-laws.

It's a bit crowded, but Curry likes it that way. "My mom was the mother of the neighborhood. All the kids came to our house, so that's why my home is open, too. People come, they eat, and they have fun." Curry told NBC's Bob Dotson for the "Today" show. "I always remember my mom's words: 'You can have somethin', but that person next to you might not have anything. If you look out for that someone, they'll look out for you.'"

Curry continues to look out for others -- especially the students at his school. One of those students is track team captain DeVante Botello, whose father is not around and whose mother died of a heart attack just before his graduation. Botello said that his life and his family were falling apart. The 18-year-old honor student was floundering, and Curry noticed, gave him support and encouragement, and offered to pay for his college education.

"He's my hero," Botello told NBC. And Curry is not yet done being a hero to others. He's still out there, buying more lottery tickets every week, with the hope of helping even more people. It's not the heroism that drives him -- it's kindness, love and respect for his fellow man. His heart is bigger than anything $3.4 million could buy.




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Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell

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Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award-winning multi-media journalist and author of Career Comeback--Repackage Yourself to Get the Job You Want.  Her work has been translated into 20 different languages, and she is a frequent expert guest and commentator on news and talk shows. She has been featured in The Wall St. Journal, on the CBS Early Show, NBC Today, CNBC, Fox Business News, Dr. Phil, Oprah.com and many other media outlets.  Lisa discusses her AOL pieces each week and interviews vital guests on the web TV show, This Week in Careers. Learn more on LisaJohnsonMandell.com.

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jhosh7777

He's one of a kind. God Bless Him!

July 09 2011 at 6:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bob Shull.

It's nice to see someone who is more interested in his fellow mans welfare than their money.

July 08 2011 at 11:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
stevenharbor

Money magnifies who you are.... If you are a jerk, then you will be a bigger jerk with money. But if you care about others and serving others you will and can be a bigger blessing to others. I would recommend a few fun vacations if he has not taken them all ready. But Mr. Curry.... You are the real deal.. Keep it up.. May the Lord Bless You in all you do....

July 08 2011 at 8:48 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
Phantom

It's nice to read/watch stories like this. It gives you hope in humanity. Tyrone's obviously a very good guy who cares about the school and his community. I can understand the "you should quit your job if you win the lottery" argument. However, as others have already said, 3.4 million isn't all that much. Especially, after taxes. Add into it, that he was filing for bankruptcy when he won.... I think his cautious approach is very wise and understandable. Also, he has worked there for 35+ years (according to the video) and seems to really love his two jobs there. Anyhow, good for him.

July 08 2011 at 8:43 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
sskidski

This guy needs a HOBBY!!!!!!

July 08 2011 at 8:06 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
fclown01

GOD BLESS HIM I THINK ITS GREAT THAT HE HELPS THE SCHOOL BUT I ALSO THINK HE AND HIS WIFE SHOULD TAKE A NICE TRIP AND HAVE SOME DOWN TIME FOR THEM AFTER ALL HE CANT TAKE IT WITH HIM. SO HE MAY AS WELL ENJOY HIS LIFE WITH HIS WIFE HE CAN EVEN TAKE THE KIDS IF HE WANTED TO. ALL I CAN SAY IS ENJOY LIFE BECAUSE YOU NEVER KNOW CONGRATS GOD BLES YOU ,

July 08 2011 at 7:55 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
estimatorone

Nice going and a good move. He probalby only has a few more years to
go before retirement. Why not collect the pensions that he worked so
many years for. Also, what this man is doing is not that unusual. It seems
like that many others that came into such a windfall quit their jobs and
literally went crazy with their new found fortune. After a few short years
many were broke and even homless. This gentlemen is doing the right
thing, not only for himself, but for many others. Congratulations and you
certainly have my respect for what you are doing for so many. Remember,
most people aren't remembered for how much money they have (or had)
but for what kind of people they were and what they might have done for
others to improve their lives.

July 08 2011 at 7:25 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
bunchybabe

God bless you! You are a good example of how good American citizens should treat each other when they are blessed. You rock! Unfortunately the broke racists commenting are so pissed off they decided to rise up and show their true form: hatred and jealousy.

July 08 2011 at 7:03 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
Glenn

by the time he feeds all his kin folk for the next 20 years,he will be woikin 2 jobs.lol

July 08 2011 at 7:03 PM Report abuse -6 rate up rate down Reply
Glenn

iDIOTS LIKE THIS GUY SHOULDNT WIN THE LOTTERY.

July 08 2011 at 6:57 PM Report abuse -16 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Glenn's comment
Andrea

IDIOTS LIKE YOU SHOULDN'T POST.

July 08 2011 at 7:05 PM Report abuse +8 rate up rate down Reply
tweets922

You are the idiot. When it comes down to judgement day, this man will have a place in heaven. He cares more about others then he does himself, what a wonderful man this is. Black/white/ purple, it shouldn't matter what color he is. He is a man for people to have their children look up to, a true good hard working man with a huge heart. God bless this man and God forgive you for your stupidity.

July 08 2011 at 7:33 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

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