History-Making Lottery Win Falls in Unlikely Hands

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A Knoxville, Tennessee, man won the largest lottery jackpot ever awarded in the state's history: $250 million.

The twist -- Roy Cockrum is a member of a religious order and has taken a vow of poverty.

"It's going to be my job to work very hard to make sure that every single penny of this prize is a blessing to whoever it touches," he said.

Cockrum is a member of the Society of St. John the Evangelist, an Episcopal religious community.

Nevertheless, he went and claimed his prize, choosing the lump sum of $153.5 million.

When he realized he had won the jackpot, he claims the news "literally knocked me to my knees."

He plans to set aside enough money for retirement, make large gifts to a long list of charities, and start a foundation to support performing arts organizations.

Cockrum worked as an actor and stage manager for theater and television for 20 years before joining the religious order.

He said he believes the vow of poverty has prepared him for this windfall.

"I really believe the best way to prepare for this tsunami of cash has been to live under a vow of poverty for a number of years," Cockrum said. "It gives great perspective."

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