What would you buy if you won the lottery? A fleet of cars? A swath of rain forest? A house for your parents?

Chances are that you’ve pondered the question at least once in your life; and chances are that the answer you arrived at wasn’t “give it all away.”

But that’s exactly what Tom Crist, 64, a recently retired CEO from Calgary, decided to do with his winnings.

That’s right, give it away — all $40 million of it. Crist said he plans to put the money into a family trust to be given to charities that he and his children select over the coming years, according to CBC News.

Although hoping to keep the big win a secret, when it came time to collect the windfall, Crist was informed by the Canada Lottery Corporation that his name and a public notification were required for release.

When asked why he didn’t tell anyone when he found out in May, Crist said, “I just didn’t know how to deal with it. I was hoping that I could just somehow move it into, you know, from the lotto corporation into my trust account and not have the media.”

“As soon as I hung up from my cellphone call from Western Canada Lottery, I never thought about it,” said Crist, the former CEO and president of Calgary electronics company EECOL, who played the subscription-based lottery. “I’ve kept it a secret, even my kids didn’t know until today,” he said.

Crist lost his 57-year-old wife, Jan, to cancer in 2012, after a six-year struggle, and he has decided that part of his winnings will go the Tom Baker Cancer Centre in Calgary, Alberta, where she was treated.  

“It’s just going to unfold next year, so we’ll decide as a family what we’re going to do and how we’re going to do it,” Crist said. “The nice part is you can keep donating for years and years. It’ll be in my family trust and we’ll just carry on.”

He is also considering the Canadian Cancer Society.

“I’ve been fortunate enough, through my career — 44 years with a company. I did very well for myself. I’ve done enough that I can look after myself, for my kids, so they can get looked after into the future. I don’t really need that money,” he said.

CBC News reports on the story in the news clip below:

Related stories on MNN:

Retired man wins $40 million lottery, plans to give it all away in memory of his wife
The Canadian winner will donate the winnings to charity in memory of his wife of 33 years, who died in 2012.