A group of firefighters that won $10,000 in the Mega Millions lottery said that they will be donating part of their winnings to help save the life of one of their colleagues, KOB reports.
In a last-minute attempt to snag the $640 million dollars up for grabs last week, five firefighters at the Albuquerque Fire Department in New Mexico decided -- 10 minutes before sales closed -- to buy a few lottery tickets.
With astronomical odds stacked against them, no one was expecting much.
"We were just eating dinner and I had forgotten all about it because what are your chances of winning?" Lt. Steve Keffer told KASA.
Incredibly, one of their eleventh-hour tickets was a lucky one. Matching five out of six numbers, the firefighters nabbed a cool $10,000.
"Everybody at the station agreed that this would be a good opportunity for us to help the firefighters survival fund," said Cpt. Jed Hyland.
The survival fund was established to help raise money for fellow firefighter Vincent Cordova, 24, who has a rare and aggressive brain tumor that will be fatal if not removed. He is currently awaiting surgery in Los Angeles -- a procedure that will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, KOAT reports.
Across Albuquerque, community members have been organizing dozens of fundraisers to help with the cost of the expensive surgery, but the monetary goal has yet to be met.
"We love our brother firefighters," Keffer told KASA. "We all know we have challenges in our lives and things happen, so we decided to help his family out and do what we can do for him."
Cordova said he's overwhelmed by the compassion and support he has received.
"I can't believe that the fireman bond is so strong," he told KASA, adding that he is grateful for the letters and prayers he has received from people across the country.
Contributions for Firefighter Vince Cordova can be sent to:
IAFF Local 244
Firefighter Survivors Fund
C/O Vincent Cordova
P.O. Box 25602
Albuquerque, NM 87125
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