MONTREAL - AN ELDERLY Canadian couple have become beloved instant stars after winning more than US$11 million (S$14.1 million) on the lottery - and then quietly giving almost all of it away.

Violet and Allen Large, who live in a modest home in Lower Turo, Nova Scotia, scooped the jackpot in July.

But believing they already had everything they needed, they have been distributing the cash among charities, keeping only about US$200,000 in case of a rainy day.

The couple drew up a list of worthy causes, starting with their families and then adding hospitals, fire services, churches, cemeteries and charity groups, and sending off checks in the mail.

'Money cannot buy happiness,' said Mr Allen Large, 75, a former welder, explaining their decision to give away the loot. His wife has been battling cancer, and chemotherapy treatment has caused her hair to fall out. But she said she feels lucky as it did not make her nauseous.

As news of their generosity filtered out they were first feted in their village, but now their smiling faces have appeared on television screens across the country and on the front pages of the national newspapers.

Couple donate lottery win