Nurses Win Mega Millions Lottery Ticket And Donate The Money
By Chaunie Brusie
A group of NICU nurses from Missouri has once again proven that nurses are the most amazing creatures on the planet by donating the money they received after their combo Mega Millions ticket turned out to be a winner.
And even more heartwarming? They donated the money to two co-workers, one who just lost her son and one whose husband was recently diagnosed with cancer.
Earlier this month, the entire country was captivated with the premise of winning the largest-ever lottery jackpot, set at 1.6 billion dollars, and co-workers around the nation joined in on “office pools” to enter. The NICU nurses at Mercy Children’s Hospital in Missouri were no exception, with 126 nurses pooling their money together to enter the Mega Millions. And not only did they end up scoring one of five $10,000 winning tickets in their state, but their winning ticket was only one number away from winning the entire jackpot.
“We never thought in a million years we would win anything at all and then we came one number away from winning $1.6 billion,” NICU nurse Stephanie Brinkman, who organized the lottery pool, told KMOV4 news station.
Selfless acts of kindness
Despite being so close to the big jackpot, after taxes, the grand total of the winning ticket came to $7,200. Split between all 126 nurses, each nurse would only receive $56. So, instead of each of them pocketing enough to buy a few pizzas for their family, they once again decided to pool their resources together—this time, to make a difference for two people who really needed it. The nurses decided to keep the lottery winnings together and donate it all instead of keeping any small amount of money for themselves.
While their winnings may not have been a billion dollars, it was still enough to make a big difference and Brinkman was able to present a check to two of their co-workers, fellow nurse Gretchen Post and hospital neonatologist Casey Orellana.
The neonatologist’s husband, Phil, was recently diagnosed with sarcoma cancer, which has spread to his lungs, a news article described, and with him requiring care, along with the couple’s two young children, Orellana has been forced to drop her work hours by half. She told the news outlet that on the day the nurses gave her the check, she had been worrying about how she was going to pay for medication for her husband and that the gesture “touched her heart.”
The rest of the money went to Post, who lost her 17-year-old son, Jack, the youngest of her three children, to suicide on October 23rd. Jack died the night of the Mega Millions drawing and Post told her co-workers that the money will be used to pay for his funeral. “Jack always had a smile on his face. He did not lead anyone on that this would happen,” his grieving mother described.
Mercy Hospital is obviously very proud of its NICU nurses, who demonstrated the selfless giving and kind-hearted compassion that drives so much of the work they do each and every day and sent out a Tweet praising the staff:
“When it comes to incredible #nurses, we hit the jackpot!” the hospital wrote.
Praises for compassion
Those who read the story on Twitter couldn’t help but agree with the hospital, praising the nurses for not only the work they do daily in caring for the tiniest of patients but in showing the world the spirit of the season at the end of a very long year. Comments poured in in response to the tweet, saying:
- “What wonderful folks you are! Thank you for reminding me that there is still good in this world. My thoughts & prayers to Gretchen Post on the loss of her son, Jack. And to Casey & Phil Orellana, praying for your full & speedy recovery. God Bless! XOXO”
- “Wow! Grateful hearts, compassion for others. Nurses you are our role models. Thank you for this beautiful story at Christmas time too!”
- “You gals are AWESOME!!! I mean seriously, you dedicate your life to helping your fellow human beings and then you go one step further. There is so much good out there, I wish we heard more of it.”
We would have to say we agree and may we all be inspired by their act of giving this holiday season, billion-dollar lottery winners or not.
Nurse.org's Popular Guides and Resources
Student Loan Forgiveness for Nurses?
Read about the top student loan forgiveness programs for nurses and find out if you qualify.
15 Highest Paying Nursing Jobs in 2021
You know all nursing jobs aren’t created (or paid!) equally, but do you know which nurses are making the most money in 2020?
Earn CEUs Online!
Need to renew your license soon? Check out our favorite free online CEU courses.
2021’s Best Nursing Schools
We’ve looked at programs nationwide and determined these are our top nursing schools.