Dec. 4, 2011 -- Three Connecticut wealth managers who won a $254 million jackpot followed through on their promise to put the money toward philanthropy, today announcing donations to five charities that assist veterans.
The first recipients will each receive $200,000. They are: The Bob Woodruff Foundation, Building Homes for Heroes, Services for the Under Served, Operation First Response and the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.
The Bob Woodruff Foundation, started by ABC News correspondent Bob Woodruff, helps injured veterans reintegrate into everyday life following deployment.
Building Homes for Heroes constructs from the ground up and also modifies homes for wounded and disable veterans.
Services for the Under Served supports "individuals and families facing challenging life situations such as mental illness, developmental disability, physical disability, AIDS, homelessness, unemployment and poverty," according to its website, and has a veteran's support group.
Operation First Response helps the families of wounded soldiers deal with the domino of costs that can come from injury. Peggy Baker, president of the charity, called the gift a "Christmas miracle."
The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund supports the families of wounded soldiers and those killed in action.
The three trustees said they felt it was important to give back to a section of American society that is underserved.
"We are leveraging our professional experience and our collective success in money management to ensure these lottery dollars go far further than their face value," the three winners, who formed the Putnam Avenue Family Trust, said in a statement.
Money managers Greg Skidmore, Brandon Lacoff and Tim Davidson came forward on Nov. 28 to claim the jackpot, which had gone unclaimed for 27 days.
All three work for wealth management firm Belpoint Capital in Greenwich, which manages $82 million, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Skidmore is president and CEO of the company.
The three men have had to deal with accusations that they are really a front for a fourth, anonymous winner.
Thomas Gladstone, a friend of one of the men and the landlord of their office space, told ABC News last week that a client had come to Belpoint Capital with the winning ticket and asked for their help. A relative of one of the men, who wished to remain anonymous, confirmed the story to ABC News.
"These are smart guys. They want to turn the $100 million into ... $400 million. The plan was to keep all this private. You've seen people pry into other people's lives. They want to protect their client," Gladstone said.
Gary Lewi, spokesman for the Putnam Avenue Family Trust, insisted that Skidmore, Lacoff and Davidson were the true -- and only -- winners.
"The three trustees consider this the first stop on what we see as a journey of philanthropy in the months and years to come," Lewi said.