Lottery winner gives back to others

November 20, 2008 (CHICAGO) He won one million dollars. But the story doesn't end there because this lottery winner wanted to share his good fortune with some friends.

Jim Reardon sits in his usual spot at the bar. He lives a couple blocks away, and he's been going to the bar since the place opened ten years ago.

But these days, manager Renee Glenn takes a little better care of him ever since he won the lottery, then came in and handed her the keys to a new car.

"I said, 'What's up?' And he said, 'Go find out who it belongs to.' I said, 'I don't know who it belongs to.' He said, 'That one over there.' I said, 'Oh, my gosh,'" Glenn said.

The reason for his generosity was simple, he said.

"Everybody loves her, everybody," Reardon said.

The winning ticket was a scratch off. Reardon admits it was an exciting day for him, but not life-changing.

"I live on nothing. I'm cheap," said Reardon.

In fact, he still lives in the same rented apartment he had before winning. He put some money away for retirement.

But he wanted to take care of the people who take care of him, including Linda Claiborne, who helped him get a job a few years ago when he was down on his luck. She also got a new car.

"There sits, at the back end of the building, this beautiful white car. I was screaming and I ran around the car. It was beautiful," Claiborne said.

"My folks always told me, 'You have some luck, spread it around.' It brings you more luck," Reardon said.

Reardon is 57 years old, single and has no family in the area. Those who know him say he's still the same guy he was before winning. He still goes to work every day and comes to City Pool Hall most every night.

Copyright © 2024 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.