While it’s a common belief that money can’t buy happiness, Rachel Lapierre is proving otherwise by giving all of her money away.
The 55-year-old former beauty queen from Quebec won the Gagnant Lifetime Lottery in 2013, which means that she now receives a $1,000 stipend every week – and she is going to keep receiving those payments for the rest of her life.
Instead of spending her fortune on lavish possessions, however, Lapierre uses all of her money on running a charity and helping the less fortunate.
“Money is money. When you’re born you don’t have anything,” Lapierre told the BBC. “And when you go, you go with nothing but your memories. You go with what you did here in life.”
Fame and money is not strange to Lapierre, either – as a young woman, Lapierre attended modeling school so she could enter the Miss Quebec beauty pageant. In 1982, at the age of 21, she won the pageant and toured the country.
When she left her modeling lifestyle behind her, she started volunteering with humanitarian organizations and working as a nurse so she could fulfill her desire to help people. Then, when she drew her winning numbers, she used the money to start her charity, Le Book Humanitaire. Though the organization also accepts donations, much of the funding has come out of Lapierre’s wallet.
“We just try to promote good deeds. Good deeds can be so many things. It can be a bike, it can be food, it can be transport to go to the hospital. It can even be just listening to somebody on the phone because they are lonely,” Lapierre said to the news outlet.
“I think happiness comes from the heart. It’s nice to have a new home or car. It can be really fun – but you don’t need that to be happy,” she added.
(WATCH the emotional interview below)
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