Dennis Mahurin has been homeless since around 1978, living in his tent. And he plans to stay there despite having won a $50,000 lottery off a scratch card ticket.
"I scratched it off right here in my tent,” Mahurin told CINewsNow.
However, the Bloomington, Indiana native does have a plan for how he’ll spend the money: dental work, visiting his son and putting away some of the winnings into savings.
He’s also considering an upgrade to a new tent, saying he’s “happy as can be in my nature,” with no desire to move into a more traditional home.
After taxes, he’ll take home about $35,000. A jackpot total that relatively small would not normally make international headlines. But it’s Mahurin’s plan to give away some of his cash that has roused the most attention.
"With all the other homeless people around here, I've made up my mind,” he said. “I'm gonna give them each $100."
Mahurin says he has eight fellow homeless men in mind that he plans to give $100 to, but he jokingly says he is leaving open the possibility of donating more with all of the new “friends” he’s likely to make as his story spreads.
Tales of generosity are not uncommon when it comes to freshly minted lottery winners. But Mahurin’s truly humble lifestyle, and his insistence on sharing the relatively small lottery winnings, reflect his kind spirit according to locals who know him.
"He’s a very, very nice guy. He's one of the sweetest people I've ever met,” said Emmarie Cross an employee at the Circle K where Mahurin bought his winning ticket. “I've been telling everybody, this couldn't have happened to a nicer guy."