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Daughter’s $4.85 million lottery gift to her family

Posted May. 20, 2013 04:33,   


A 40-something American man who was facing foreclosure from his home found a winning lottery ticket for 4.85 million U.S. dollars while packing to move out.

The man is Ricardo Cerezo in Geneva, Illinois. Mr. Cerezo quit his job as a management consultant in 2010 to take care of his 12-year-old daughter, Savannah, who was suffering from severe bipolar disorder at age 12. Despite devoted care from her family, however, Savannah died at 14 after a series of seizures in August 2012.

As Savannah was aware of her family’s distressed financial conditions, she urged her father to buy lottery tickets. Before her death, she left a little cookie jar that she bought from a flea market. “Everyone at home thought it was a waste of time given that we needed every penny. Savannah was the only one that encouraged us to play (the lottery),” Mr. Cerezo said to Fox News. All the lotteries he bought were kept in the cookie jar.

Since the Cerezo family received an eviction notice from a bank for mortgage defaults last week, the family was packing to leave the house. His wife who was cleaning out the kitchen asked Mr. Cerezo to check the lottery tickets in the jar before moving out. When he checked the tickets at a nearby convenient store, he found that one of the tickets matched the Feb. 2 top winning lottery number.

Mr. Cerezo, who received a commemorative check at the Illinois Lottery, will be provided annual payments of 187,000 dollars after tax for 20 years in every February, coincidentally Savannah`s birthday month.

"We will pay off our mortgage and share with our two children. We will also give to our church and favorite charities. It is very important to us that we use this money to help others," the father said. Mr. Cerezo also said he sees the windfall as a gift from Savannah.