Artist Guy Harvey whose depictions of marine life adorn shirts, hats, cups, rugs, jewelry and phone covers is giving away much of the $240,000 that he earned from a S.C. Education Lottery scratch-off ticket bearing his name and artwork.
The Jamaica-raised naturalist donated $125,000 to the Coastal Conservation Association of South Carolina and Harry Hampton Memorial Wildlife Fund during a visit to Columbia Thursday.
He gave another $101,700 to the S.C. Aquarium and Dolphinfish Research Program earlier this month in Charleston.
Harvey, who has a foundation, said he agreed to license his brand for lottery games to raise money during a tough economic period.
Its very hard to raise money in this environment, he said.
Guy Harvey products are popular in South Carolina, which ranks third behind Florida and Texas in sales.
The S.C. lottery started selling $5 tickets in July. Top prize is $100,000, but players also can win a fishing trip with Harvey in Grand Cayman Island.
S.C. lottery director Paula Harper Bethea called Harveys reinvestment of the money in the state an act of generosity that goes above and beyond.
Harvey, 58, also donated licensing fees for lottery games with his artwork in Florida, where his company is based.
He said his company is talking with six other states about lottery games.
Its a fantastic way to collaborate, he said.
But Harvey said he does not play the lottery himself: I like playing cards, but I would not say Im a consummate gambler.