Joe and Rhonda Meath, a Bethel, Minn., couple in their fifties, recently won the state’s largest ever Hot Lotto jackpot, collecting $11.7 million. They don’t even have to pay taxes on their winnings, because in this case, the lottery pays the roughly $3.7 million in taxes.
Don’t expect to see the Meaths on TV in a few years talking about how winning the lottery ruined their lives, though, because it would seem these two have their priorities straight. Other than Rhonda getting a new car (Joe is perfectly happy with his old truck) and setting aside money for their children and grandchildren, the couple has decided to use their winnings to help those in their community who are in need, rather than blowing their newfound fortune on material things.
Their first beneficiary? High school senior Sanita Rouse, the 18-year-old who sold Joe Meath the winning lottery ticket. When she was called into work for a meeting earlier this week, she thought she was in trouble and getting fired. Instead, she found out that the Meaths are giving her $15,000 to use for college.
“I couldn’t be more grateful,” Rouse told FOX 9 in Minneapolis. “It’s crazy and overwhelming and it’s a blessing. It really is.”
Good luck to Sanita in college, and snaps to the Meaths for paying it forward.