Smile: Nurses Win the Lottery, Give Winnings to Co-Workers in Need

Smile: Nurses Win the Lottery, Give Winnings to Co-Workers in Need
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Like many workplaces, the nurses and staff of the neonatal intensive care unit at Mercy Children’s Hospital pool their money to enter the lottery. Sometimes it pays off, sometimes it doesn’t. When it does pay off, the winnings are usually small beans. But in October 2018, the staffers at the St. Louis-area hospital raked in $10,000 in the Mega Millions lottery, but they didn’t keep it all for themselves.

When lottery pool organizer Stephanie Brinkman saw that she and her colleagues had won a substantial sum, it was, as you can imagine, a complete shock.

She said:

“I was so in shock, I couldn’t believe it.”

We’ve all dreamed of what we would do if we won the lottery. Maybe buy a new car, or take a much-anticipated vacation. But these staffers put their own dreams on the back burner to help 2 co-workers struggling through tough times.

Shortly after winning the lottery, the group came to find out that the son of fellow nurse Gretchen Post had committed suicide just hours before the drawing.

The staffers made a selfless decision: Give the winnings to Post to help cover her son’s funeral expenses, and to another nurse, Casey Orellana, whose husband was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year.

Orellana said: [2]

“When I got that phone call, it was a day I was wondering how we were going to pay for certain medications and it just touches your heart.”

Post said: [1]

“It was a little bit of relief that I would have some money to help with Jack’s funeral. It just came at the right time.”

Each woman received $3,600. (After taxes, the group who initially won the lottery took home $7,200.) [1] [2]

Post said her son was proud of her mother’s career and had aspirations of going to medical school to become a psychiatrist.

“He was very compassionate and intellectual, so I think he would have done so.”

As Brinkman presented the money to Post and Orellana, she said: [2]

“I know it’s not the $1.6 billion dollars, but here is what we have to offer you, hopefully, it’ll help.”

She added:

“You know we wouldn’t have it any other way.”

With all of the bad news in the world, it’s nice to read a heartwarming story, and this one is sure to make you smile.


[1] CNN

[2] Inside Edition