Gambler Donates Record Jackpot to KAIST

      May 18, 2010 12:54

      A man who won the biggest-ever jackpot in Korean casino history on Saturday decided to donate the entire prize money to the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology.

      Ahn Seung-pil (60) won W766.8 million (US$1=W1,153) at Kangwon Land, the only casino open to Koreans in Korea, and signed the donation agreement on Monday. "I am going to donate all the money to KAIST," Ahn said. "I initially thought of using the money to pay off my personal debt, but I thought it would be more meaningful to use the money for the public good rather than for personal use."

      Jackpot winner Ahn Seung-pil (left) poses with a Kangwon Land staffer after singing an agreement to donate the prize money to KAIST at the casino on Monday. /Courtesy of Kangwon Land

      Ahn, who runs a cotton cloth business with some 7 employees, had once W4 billion in debt amid the economic crisis, but he worked hard and now has paid off most of the debt. "I initially thought I would repay my debt with the money but I can do that without it if I work hard. So I sought agreement from my family. Because my parents were poor, I didn't have much education and I always yearned for learning," he said. "A while ago I saw a KAIST professor on TV saying assistance is needed for the nation's science and technology. So I thought it would be good to donate my prize money for their development."

      Kangwon Land provided Ahn with other gifts such as vouchers for use at its hotel, golf course, and ski resort for a year. After that, he will be entitled to 50 percent discount to all facilities of the company for 10 years.

      The casino said that it is keeping Ahn's prize money and will invite him and KAIST officials to a ceremony to donate it to the school soon.

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