The “Do It Yourself” Surprise Millionaire

It appears a Wyoming man made his own will in order to leave nothing to Tom Woodyard (2)chance.  Tom Woodyard of Riverton Wyoming knew that he was getting older and wanted to make sure that his wishes were known and carried out when his time came.  So, did Mr. Woodyard hire an attorney to hammer out the details?  Nope. This retired educator did it all himself!  He drafted a very detailed will in which he left his secret fortune to more charities than could be cataloged in a short blog post! Everyone from the Boy Scouts to hospices, fishing organizations to churches, can thank Tom Woodyard for his generous gifts. And thankfully, the courts determined this gentleman’s do it yourself will 100% legal and binding.  While I admire Mr. Woodyard’s do it yourself attitude, when we are dealing with such a large estate, it might be a good idea to get a little legal advice along the way.  Regardless, it looks like we have another inspiring Surprise Millionaire to add to our list!

A Surprise Donation To Help Our Four-Legged Friends

Retired art teacher and animal lover David Robert Wetzell left a surprise fortune to benefit the homeless animals of Champaign County Illinois.  Always an animal lover, Mr. Wetzell told a few trusted confidants of his plan to fund a no-kill shelter in his community.  I’m not certain, but I believe his friends and loved ones were probably shocked to learn of the wealth he had accumulated to accomplish the task!

Those Thrifty Scots

This week’s Surprise Millionaire is a quiet, retired teacher in Glasgow Scotland. When Scotland (2)Grahame Pincock age 90 passed away in 2017, his friends and neighbors were shocked to learn that the unassuming bachelor had secretly amassed a seven million pound estate through thriftiness and investing. Mr. Pincock chose to bless his community by leaving hundreds of thousands to cancer charities as well as setting up a separate trust to help those in need.

We have had one or two other Surprise Millionaires from Scotland in recent memory. I think all of those stories about the “thrifty scots” just might be true!

A Surprise Millionaire In Her Own Words

I have had the pleasure of following Dave Ramsey and his organization for quite some time. Dave is well known for helping people get out of debt and also helping them to accumulate some wealth along the way.  He uses financial concepts found in biblical scripture as well as plain common sense to help people reach their financial goals.

One of Dave’s most popular segments from his podcast/radio show is the “Millionaire Theme Hour” in which regular folks who are currently millionaires call in and explain how they reached this milestone. During one of these segments I was happy to hear from a lady who we would describe as a Surprise Millionaire.  This particular lady related how she accumulated her wealth by living below her means and investing wisely.  It is a rare chance to hear a Surprise Millionaire in their own words so I couldn’t resist the opportunity to introduce “Terry from Denver” to my readers.  Enjoy!  

 

One From Across The Pond

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Our cousins over in the U.K. seem to be experiencing the Surprise Millionaireunion jack phenomenon themselves.  A thrifty music teacher leaves a wonderful legacy to help children in Africa.  Thank you Helen Ruddock for your wonderful gift that will provide clean drinking water for thousands in sub-Saharan Africa!   I wonder, could the Surprise Millionaire phenomenon be going international?

“Weird Ward” A True Teacher

… he taught me that it’s not about yourself. ‘Do something for someone else — someone you’ll never meet.’

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Teachers

I’m sure there are many of us who could tell a story about a teacher who once inspired us, made us think about life in a different way or just made learning fun!  Today’s Surprise Millionaire did all of those things while accumulating some wealth along the way.

High school chemistry teacher Pat ‘Weird’ Ward inspired his students with his wacky way of teaching chemistry.  This led his students to bestow upon him the honorary moniker of ‘Weird’ Ward.  Mr. Ward was also the type of teacher who inspired his students to reach for more in life than what they thought they might attain in their Tulsa Oklahoma neighborhoods.  So it was no surprise upon his passing that this long time educator left a bequest to education.  However, the size and scope of the gift was quite unexpected.