Thai Monk Hits Big Lottery Win, Gives It All Away

Home » Thai Monk Hits Big Lottery Win, Gives It All Away

Posted on: March 24, 2022, 08:35h. 

Last updated on: March 24, 2022, 09:36h.

A Buddhist monk tasted what it’s like to have a huge cache of money after winning the lottery. As quickly as it came, the money went, as the monk decided to give away his fortune.

Buddhist monks
Buddhist monks accepting charity, a normal practice for them. One recently reversed the custom after winning $500,000 in a Thai lottery. (Image: The Conversation)

Many people dream of hitting it big in the lottery. They fantasize about what they would do with their newfound fortune. For most, the money means trips, paying off bills, and shopping sprees.

One man in Thailand tasted wealth earlier this month, but only for a fleeting moment. Surprised that he won, a Buddhist monk gave away his fortune to villagers. $500,000 goes a long way in Thailand.

Thai Monk Hits Big Win

Late last month, a Buddhist monk in the Thai city of Nakhon Phanom purchased three lottery tickets, according to media outlet Thairat. He bought the tickets, not in search of fame and fortune, but, as he tells the story, to help out a lottery vendor who was going through a rough patch.

The lottery draw took place on March 1, and after learning he had won 18 million Thai baht (US$500,000), the unidentified 47-year-old monk suddenly found himself in a quandary. He likely didn’t expect to win, but quickly realized that he could make others’ lives better.

The monk began giving away his fortune, which he called “money that belonged to the angels.” Initially, according to the media outlet, he donated to his temple, local schools, and civic organizations. In just the first week after receiving his winnings, he had donated 1.5 million baht (US$45,000).

He then decided to give to the locals, in a community where the average monthly wage is 14,053 baht (US$419), 500 baht (US$15) each. However, as word spread, people began lining up for handouts. After giving away $15,000, he reduced the amount to 200 baht (US$6) per person.

The scene, at one point, got out of hand. Local police arrived to control the crowds and make sure the charitable initiative didn’t get too wild.

New Story, Different Outcome

In 2018, a trio of Thai monks pitched in to buy a lottery ticket. They won 18 million baht. However, that lucky draw had a different outcome.

As news outlets reported at the time, the monks decided to drop out of sight in order to meditate. No further details emerged after that.

Two years later, another monk, Montri Samajjo, won 18 million baht after he purchased three tickets. As with the latest winner, he, too, made the purchase in order to help out a vendor going through a difficult time.

He gave each of his three children one million baht (US$29,820), while a part of the money went to the temple and to charity. The rest, according to media outlets, became part of a future charity fund.

Nothing in Buddhism prevents monks from recreational gambling. On the other hand, in strict Buddhism, they’re not allowed to hold money. Therefore, participation in gambling isn’t a common activity.

There have been some exceptions that have called into question Buddhist practices. Over the years, a number of incidents involving Buddhist monks caught gambling and partying have made headlines. However, the decision of the Nakhon Phanom monk shows what the religion is all about.

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