Anonymous Parishioner Donates $100K Lottery Winnings to Boston Church

"He has a heart as big as Fenway Park"

A mysterious man made Christmas come early at St. Anthony Shrine in Boston.

"I was flabbergasted to think that someone would call and tell me that," said Maryanne Rooney-Hegan, St. Anthony Shrine's director of development.

On the other side of the phone line was a man who had just hit it big. In his hands he had a winning lottery ticket worth $100,000.

He wanted to give it all to the church in Downtown Crossing.

"It's just a terrific gift for Christmas," Rooney-Hegan said.

Fr. Thomas Conway, the executive director of the church, said he could barely contain his excitement as he held the enormous check.

"It's hard to raise money," Conway noted.

The money will pay for the Shrine's programs,  which help thousands of people in need. 

But it's still a mystery who the generous donor is.

"We really don't know if it's someone who is barely getting by and wants to be super generous or someone of tremendous wealth," Conway said. "My hunch is somewhere in the middle."

One of the only people who knows the donor's identity is Rooney-Hegan.

"He has a heart as big as Fenway Park and he does come to church here," she said.

The $100,000 donation is the largest anonymous gift the church has gotten in years.

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