Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656

Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

current issue

February – March 2024 : The little things READ ONLINE


Scratch card winner

May 19 2013
American who won $50k plans to remain a rough sleeper and give away much of his newfound fortune


An American homeless man who won $50,000 on a scratch card ticket has told how he plans to remain a rough sleeper and give away much of his newfound fortune.

Dennis Mahurin, 58, has been living in a tent in the woods in Bloomington, Illinois, since 1978 and, despite his recent cash win, has rejected the idea of purchasing a more solid home. However, he has admitted that he may spend some of the money on a tent upgrade.

The Bloomington native purchased his scratch card for $3 from a petrol station in early April, 2013, initially believing that he had won $1,000. It was not until Mr Mahurin returned to the petrol station that he realised the extent of his windfall. He said he almost fell over when the attendant told him what he had actually won.

After taxes, his winnings will stand at just under $35,000.

The veteran rough sleeper plans to spend some of the cash on overdue dental work and visiting his son. However, this relatively meagre jackpot win has made headlines across the globe because of Mr Mahurin’s selfless attitude to spending the prize; he will donate $100 to each of his homeless friends in the area. “With all the other homeless people around here, I’ve made up my mind,” he said. “I’m going to give them each $100.” His close circle of friends consist of eight fellow rough sleepers, but he has joked about the new “friends” he expects to make as a result of his win.

Local residents in the area have spoken about Mr Mahurin’s win as truly befitting of his generous nature and friendly attitude. “He’s a very, very nice guy. He’s one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met,” said Emmarie Cross, an employee at the Circle K where Mahurin bought his winning ticket. “I’ve been telling everybody, this couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.”