Nova Scotia

Generous lottery winner loses fight with cancer

Violet Large, a Nova Scotia woman who along with her husband gave away nearly $11 million in lottery winnings, has died.

Kindness remembered by community

Violet Large, a Nova Scotia woman who along with her husband gave away nearly $11 million in lottery winnings, has died.

Violet and Allen Large, from Lower Truro, won a big Lotto 6/49 draw last summer. But it was their generosity that made headlines around the world.

The Larges estimated they gave away about 98 per cent  of their $11.2-million prize.

Most of the money went to local charities and organizations — from hospitals to fire departments to cemeteries. Some went to family members, while the couple kept the rest for emergencies.

"We haven't bought one thing. That's because there is nothing that we need," Violet told CBC News in November.

At the time, Violet was recovering from surgery and six chemotherapy treatments for cancer. She said hand-delivering the money to various groups kept her spirits up.

"I've never been down and out, so what more do you want?" she said.

Generosity came naturally

Violet, 79, died Saturday at the Colchester Regional Hospital in Truro.

United Church minister Rev. Ian Harrison said that generosity was typical of the couple, who were devoted to one another.

"It just naturally came out of them to give and to offer whatever they could," he said Monday.

Thinking of others was not unusual for Violet, Harrison said. She never complained about her illness and, when asked, would always comment that there was someone who was worse off than she was, he said.

"She was the person she was regardless what was befalling her in terms of illness. It was a wonder to behold," Harrison said.

The Colchester Regional Hospital Foundation is one charity the Larges supported. It issued a statement about Violet's passing:

"She gave us many lasting gifts: the reminder of how precious life is, how to mean what you say and say what you mean, to be a good person and a good neighbour, to always do what you say you will and, perhaps the most important for a happy life, to want what you have not have what you want."

A funeral service will be held Tuesday afternoon at Mattatall-Varner Funeral Home in Truro.

The family said anyone who wants to donate in Violet's memory can send money to Old Barns United Church, Economy Cemetery or the charity of their choice.