Lottery Millionaire Janitor Buys Track for School

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Posted on April 15, 2011 at 6:12 PM
Updated Friday, Apr 15 at 7:43 PM 

WHITE CENTER, Wash. -- The lunch hour is over and Evergreen High School custodian Tyrone Curry gets out his broom for a quick sweep up.

"I try to make sure it's spotless and it's ready for the kids," he said.

After cleaning, he's off to his second passion: coaching the track and field team.

"I just like staying busy," Curry said with a laugh.

But in reality, he doesn't have to work. He's a millionaire.

"I know my wife says, 'Oh, you don't really have to work' and I say, 'Yeah. I do."

Five years ago, Curry won nearly $3.4 million in the state lottery. Even before his numbers were drawn, the coach knew where he wanted to spend it.

"Ten years ago, I said if I win some money, I'm going to put a track here."

In early April, coach Curry presented the district with $40,000 to go towards a brand new track.

"Tyrone goes above and beyond in the sports he coaches," said senior Devante Botello. "It's a deep feeling. All I can say is thanks."

Curry said the gift he has given Evergreen pales in comparison to what the kids have given him.

"Kids do things for you. They keep you young," Curry said.

In June, after 34 years, Curry will retire. But, he'll be back to see that brand new track and cheer on the team.

"It's gonna be hard when I retire, you know, but I'll still be here."

Curry plans to run for the school board after retirement.

His donation will be matched with a $75,000 youth sports grant.