Knoxville lottery winner donates $50,000 to Second Harvest

Knoxville lottery winner donates $50,000 to Second Harvest (Image 1)
Knoxville lottery winner donates $50,000 to Second Harvest (Image 1)

ALCOA (WATE) – After winning Tennessee’s largest lottery prize ever just a few weeks ago, a Knoxville man is holding true to his promise to use that money to give back to the community.

Roy Cockrum, 58, won the nearly $260 million Powerball jackpot in July. After taxes, he took home just over $115 million.

One of East Tennessee’s biggest charities got a surprise donation from Cockrum Tuesday, which they say is going to make a huge difference to the neediest in our community.

Cockrum sent a check in the mail this week for $50,000 to Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee. They announced the donation Tuesday morning.

“Out of the sky. It was just fantastic. We are thrilled,” said Second Harvest Executive Director Elaine Streno.

Asking for no recognition, they say Cockrum told them he simply believed in their work and hoped he could help further it.

“We wanted the community to know that he is a man of his word, that he told everybody he would give back and he is,” said Streno.

That $50,000 is going to provide 150,000 meals to the hungry across East Tennessee.

“Hunger is a closet disease. It is all over the community. It’s everywhere. People have a hard time acknowledging it in our area, but believe me, we see it everyday,” Streno said.

This donation could not come at a better time. The summer months are when Second Harvest sees the least number of donations.

“We get a lot of attention during the holidays, but during the summer, a gift like this goes so far,” said Streno.

Steno says this is the largest donation they have ever received this time of year. They’ve already started using the money to buy food for their after school backpack food program for local children.

They are thankful for his gift and hope it might inspire others to do the same.

If you’re feeling inspired to give, there are so many ways you can donate to Second Harvest. Those donations are going to go a long way. One in five East Tennesseans is at risk of hunger. Second Harvest provides more than a million meals across 18 counties each and every month.

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