SWEEPSTAKES SURPRISE: Neil Kroll, pictured in a video still, learning that he won a $1 million sweepstakes at his home in Castle Rock, Washington, on Monday, June 30, 2014. Photo credit: Publishers Clearing House / YouTube

Adventist News

Andrew McChesney

News Editor – Adventist Review

Adventist Wins $1 Million Sweepstakes

The U.S. millwright plans to give the money to International Children’s Care and other charitable causes.

A 58-year-old Adventist millwright in the U.S. state of Washington has won $1 million in a sweepstakes, and he intends to give away the money to good causes, including an Adventist organization that cares for orphaned children.

Neil Kroll, a 31-year resident of Castle Rock, population 1,984, said he would pray about how to spend the surprise windfall from Publishers Clearing House.

“If the Lord allows you to win something like this … then there is a reason,” Kroll said moments after he learned that he had won the sweepstakes on Monday, the local Longview Daily News reported. “There are people who must need a million dollars, and it’s not me. You don’t win this to use it for yourself.”

Kroll, who works at Weyerhaeuser, one of the world's largest private owners of timberlands, said he didn’t recall entering the sweepstakes.

Publishers Clearing House is a marketing company that sells magazine subscriptions and is well known for its $1 million sweepstakes. Kroll was selected as the winner in a randomized computer drawing.

“I wish it was me,” neighbor Curtis Hornbuckle, laughing, told CBS television affiliate KOIN. “Don’t we all?”

Publishers Clearing House representatives shocked Kroll by approaching his white single-story house with a giant $1 million certificate, a bunch of colorful balloons, and a bouquet of red roses.

YouTube footage from Publishers Clearing House shows a visibly stunned Kroll being told on the front porch of his home that he had won the sweepstakes. Kroll first words: “Wow! Praise the Lord!”

A representative also gave Kroll a real $25,000 check and told him to “start having fun and hit the bank,” Longview Daily News said.

Kroll, a member of the Winlock Seventh-day Adventist Church, said he would instead give part of the first installment to a favorite organization, International Children’s Care, based in nearby Vancouver, Washington.

International Children’s Care operates “children’s villages” around the world in which 10 to 12 children live in a group of cottages and are cared for by a local couple. The organization was established after a 1978 earthquake in Guatemala left many children homeless, and it is a member of ASI, or Adventist‑laymen's Services and Industries.

Kroll, who is married, was considering whether to take the rest of the $1 million winnings in a lump sum of about $600,000 after taxes or $25,000 a year for the next 29 years. He said he probably would take the lump sum.

Related link

Watch Neil Kroll learn the news in a Publishers Clearing House video on YouTube

Longview Daily News article

Video and report on CBS TV affiliate KOIN

Contact Adventist Review news editor Andrew McChesney at mcchesneya@gc.adventist.org. Twitter: @ARMcChesney

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