Raffle winner Kallaus twice lucky


By Lindsay Steele
The Catholic Messenger

RICHMOND — Every year, Gary Kallaus purchases tickets for local Catholic school raffles. He had never been victorious, until he received a call from Assumption High School on April 26, congratulating him on winning $2,000 in the April Knight Raffle.

It seemed like a once-in-a-lifetime event until that evening when he received a call from Prince of Peace Schools in Clinton. He’d won $5,000 in that school raffle, too.

“It’s hard to compete with luck like that,” said Prince of Peace Development Director Karen Witt, who called Kallaus that night to tell him the news. She couldn’t believe it when Kallaus told her he’d been twice victorious.


Kallaus, a parishioner of Holy Trinity Parish in Richmond, is taking the victory in stride. He’s happy about winning, but the retired banker said with a laugh, “I spent 42 years in the banking industry, and money doesn’t make me very excited, to be perfectly honest with you!” He added that his faith has always been the most valuable thing in his life, and that he never expects to win when he enters raffles. He is simply focused on helping the schools through the purchase of tickets.

Though the 76-year-old has never married and does not have children, he grew up going to Catholic school in Richmond and appreciates the value of a religious education. “I know the sacrifices parents go through to put their kids through Catholic school … I’m glad to help out,” he said, adding that he spent $100 on raffle tickets for each school.

Witt is effusive in her appreciation. “I just think it’s very generous for someone who is not attached to the school in any way (to buy a ticket) and support Catholic education in another community… I’m excited for him.”

Kallaus said he does not have any current plans for the money, though as a banker he has already calculated how much his winnings will be post-taxes. One thing he is sure of, however, is that he will continue to support the local schools by purchasing raffle tickets, even if he never again gets this lucky.

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