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Steve Wynn Gives $2 million To Needy Las Vegans

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Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images

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LAS VEGAS (AP) — Tongues are wagging in Las Vegas after a casino owner anonymously gave $500 each to 4,000 families in recent months and then came forward as the donor.

Steve Wynn’s $2 million donation to United Way of Southern Nevada is the charitable organization’s largest donation to date. The donor was known only as “Secret Santa” until Wynn recently confessed to a local newspaper columnist that he was behind the money.

Business leaders say the donation is an everyday occurrence in Las Vegas, where casino titans are often both employers and charity circuit regulars.

But to the struggling families who received the $500 donations, the surprise gift was anything but the norm. Many of the families earn $16,000 annually or less.

Wynn declined to comment.

Nevada has the nation’s highest unemployment rate.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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