Personal Finance: $11.5 Million: Poof, Gone!

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Michelle Singletary
Thursday, November 11, 2010; 9:08 AM

"What you've never had, you never miss."

Those are the words lottery winner Violet Large said after giving away all of her $11.5 million winnings, reports Patricia Brooks Arenburg of the Chronicle Herald.

The 78-year-old Nova Scotia resident and her husband, Allen, bought a lottery ticket and won. But rather than go on a spending spree, the couple gave away every last penny of the winnings to family, but mostly they gave it to charities, including the local fire department, churches, cemeteries, the Red Cross, the Salvation Army and hospitals.

Mrs. Large, who is recovering from cancer, said the money was "a big headache." The couple lives modestly and said they just didn't need anything. With Thanksgiving around the corner, I thought this story was an amazing testimony of not just generosity but of a couple who truly understands what's important in life.

Unkind Cut

The response to my column last Sunday has been overwhelming. It was the last part in a series I started earlier this year in which I looked at the personal finance difficulties of ex-offenders. As part of the series, I interviewd a 32-year-old ex-offender, Kelly D. Brown, who had been working at the Hair Cuttery. Brown wanted me to tell her story and show how she's overcoming the mistakes she made.

Brown was upfront about her criminal past on her application and was hired by the Hair Cuttery. Even though the salon manager and a company recruiter knew about her past, Brown was fired when higher management found out about her conviction.

The company said Brown was fired to "ensure the safety and well-being of our stylists and our clients."

I want to hear from you. Read the column about Brown and weigh in. The Color of Money Question of the Week: "Should companies have blanket bans on hiring ex-offenders or ex-offenders with felony convictions?" Send your comments to In the subject line, put "Unkind Cut."

Online Chat and Text Today

Trying to get your money right for the holiday season? Join me today at 11:45 am ET where the financial conversation begins with my live online video chat.

If you have a question you would like me to answer live online, send it to

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