93-year-old Largo man creates contest to give away stimulus money in hopes of sparking a chain reaction

Pinellas County

LARGO, Fla. (WFLA) – Virgil Sweet is a 93-year-old retired school teacher living in Largo, Florida. He received the $1,200 stimulus check from the Internal Revenue Service because of the pandemic. Now he’s giving it away because he says there are others out there who need the money more than he does.

Sweet is holding a contest to give the money away. He’s paying forward his newfound cash to someone facing trying times amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. He just doesn’t know who that person is yet, so he’s holding a contest to find out.

He’s asking anyone in need to write him at the below address. Sweet will choose the individual or family he thinks could use the money the most on May 22.

Sweet shared with 8 On Your Side’s Christine McLarty that while he made less than $50,000 last year he is plenty comfortable with what he has. He said he gets his teacher pension, social security money, and lives in a 2 bedroom lakeside condo.

The former school teacher said this may be his last lesson to teach, but the most important one yet. He’s hoping this encourages others not to be greedy, but to be grateful for what they have and help others when they can.

“I’d like to see a lot of people donate to the needy,” said Sweet. “They need it more than anyone else,”

Sweet is hoping his contest will spark a chain reaction and others who received stimulus money they don’t need will participate in paying it forward.

“If a lot of people don’t join me on this I’m going to be really disappointed,” said Sweet. “I think it’s an important lesson for us all to learn. Those who are able to give to the people need to do so. A lot of them have lost their jobs, their mortgages and they need this money,” said Sweet.

Even if you don’t hear from Mr.Sweet on May 22nd as the lucky winner of his contest you may hear from someone in his “giving chain” down the road.

“I hope this creates a chain reaction that everybody who looks at their $1,200 gift from Uncle Sam and says I don’t need all that and will donate part of it to the needy. If so I’d like them to send their name and address and I’ll transfer the letters I get along them and let them choose someone to give to,” said Sweet.

To enter the contest or to become part of his giving chain and receive copies of the letters, send Mr.Sweet a letter.

Make the letter out to Virgil Sweet at 10216 Seminole Island Drive, Largo, Florida 33773.

Your letter must arrive within the next 2 weeks on May 22. Sweet will present the one lucky winner with 12 $100 bills on May 25.


Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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