It’s the day after Christmas, and the year is almost over. Let’s take a moment to look back and be thankful for the great things that have happened!
When I think about being Thankful, I’m reminded of my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving. One person who has a lot to be thankful for in 2014 is our Thanksgiving winner, Brian Willis!
I got a chance to catch up with him one month after his $1 MILLION DOLLAR SuperPrize win (the one that kicked off our 4 Months of Millionaires!) to see how he’s doing.
But before I get into that, why don’t you start off by re-watching his winning moment right here!
In the video, he says he can’t wait to see what his kids say! So when I caught up with him recently, that was my first question: what WAS his kids’ reaction like?
“The kids are still surprised! They’re really happy,” Brian says. In fact, they referred to him as “the millionaire” for a few days until he told them to stop. He was getting too embarrassed!
Ever humble, I asked Brian what he was going to get his kids for Christmas this year. Brian just said, “Are you kidding? It’s Christmas EVERY day!”
Brian’s life story truly exemplifies the “what you give is what you get” principle.
As he tells it, about 6 years ago, Brian quit a very successful job working as a lumber salesman. He was making good money, but he felt a calling to become a Christian missionary to the South Carolina area. He and his wife sacrificed everything they had (including their dream home), to move into a much small living situation.
They had rid themselves of the distractions of material things. Now their focus is serving others, which they’re able to do on their weekends. Rheumatoid Arthritis slows down Brian a little bit, but it never stopped him from doing the acts of kindness he felt were right.
After sacrificing and giving so much, it is no wonder that circumstances came together to bless Brian and his family with some of the best news they’ll ever hear.
I don’t know about you, but if I won a million dollars, my imagination might run away with itself! But even winning $1,000,000.00 hasn’t changed Brian one bit!
“I can use this for good. This reinforces everything we’ve done. [As the Bible says,], “Give, and it shall be given unto thee.”
Obviously Brian is a man with strong beliefs, so I asked him if Publishers Clearing House was something he ever doubted. “Yes, I believed it was true! I remembered the commercials from when I was younger, and my parents getting the letters in the mail. I always knew. So eventually I started getting the emails on my desktop, and I just filled them out. It’s free, and you have to be playing if you want to win!”
Brian is full of practical wisdom, and applied it when he decided he needed to visit a financial planner. Brian doesn’t want this money to just disappear overnight. He definitely wants this to last. “Winning changes the program. [When you win] debt is taken care of. I do want to invest a little. Maybe spend a little.” Brian also hopes to take care of some car needs as well.
As we move towards the end of 2014, I think we can all learn a lot from Brian Willis. Brian is the kind of guy who obviously tries his best to put others before himself. Even when given the opportunity to “take the money and run,” that’s not the kind of thing a person like Brian would do.
Let’s look towards 2015 with the same kind of attitude; because when we’re generous with others, life becomes more generous with US!
P.S. – Brian is taking some next steps to make sure he can make the most of this situation! What would you do to make sure YOUR winnings lasted a long while? Tell us in the comments below!