The Upshot

Anonymous donor gives $1 million to needy Las Vegas families

The house always wins. Anybody who's been to Vegas knows that. But sometimes the house is kind enough to give back some of its winnings. An anonymous casino owner in Sin City donated $1 million to United Way, which in turn passed on the funds to struggling Las Vegas residents.

[Related: Goodwill sorting through allegedly accidental $14,000 donation]

The million dollars was split between 2,000 families and given in the form of gift cards. Each family got $500. Might not sound like a lot, but when the money is badly needed and totally unexpected, you end up with some very happy recipients.

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The Las Vegas Review-Journal explains that this is the second time the same anonymous donor forked over a million bucks to residents of southern Nevada. The first was in December. The paper writes, "The only thing that changed this time was the donor's nickname, Summer Santa instead of Secret Santa." The recipients were asked to come down to a local gymnasium—they had no idea what they were about to be given.

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Upon learning that his family would be getting a $500 gift card (which can be used like cash), one young boy proclaimed that he wanted to use the new funds for video games. But his father had different ideas. "Shoes," the dad said.

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