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Stranger Than Fiction: Public School Educators Win Lottery, Vow to Continue Teaching
posted by: Alix | April 14, 2012, 03:26 PM   

Last month, as the multi-state Mega Millions lottery climbed to a record $656 million, Americans everywhere were fantasizing about the possibilities of winning the enormous jackpot. According to polls, the majority of people would most likely quit their jobs and lead a life of luxury. This wasn't the case for three public school workers from Maryland, who last week claimed their winnings with a vow to stay in the classroom for the sake of their students.

The three winners (an elementary school teacher, a special education teacher and an administrative worker) who came forward last Thursday to claim their prize said they planned to keep working in education because they "can't give up on the kids."While they vowed to remain anonymous, their decision to continue working comes as a surprise to many.

Director of the Maryland Lottery Stephen Martino stated, "If it can't be you, these are precisely the people that you would want to see win the lottery." He added that the winners had all been "modest" and "humbled" when they stepped forward to claim their huge prize in the lottery office. The three winners chose to take the cash option of $158 million and will each take home just under $35 million in cash after taxes.

Despite their newfound wealth, the trio, who call themselves the "three amigos," returned to their Maryland public school this week, out of "a strong commitment to their students." Lottery officials were thrilled with the outcome. "It's gratifying to know that these individuals, who have given so much to the public through the years, have had this wonderful luck," Martino told MSNBC.

While this story isn't common, it highlights an interesting narrative about the calling to be a teacher. Educators don't step into the classroom solely for the money. Teachers are often under tremendous pressure and have very difficult jobs. Educators like these lottery winners, and millions more like them across the country, are involved in education because they care about kids and want to see them succeed. The same couldn't be said for every profession.

Would you stay in the classroom if you won the lottery?
Comment below.

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