An Illinois man who fell on hard times found the answer to all of his problems in a cookie jar.
Ricardo Cerezo of Geneva, Ill., was devastated when he lost their 14-year-old daughter, Savannah, to a series of seizures, according to NBC Chicago. Months later, in February, the family was in danger of losing their home to foreclosure, the Beacon-News reported yesterday.
Cerezo and his family were just days from eviction when his wife encouraged him to finally check the 11 lotto tickets that he'd accumulated in a cookie jar. The jar contained the tickets and a few mementos; it was left in Savannah's bedroom, which the family has left untouched in the months since her passing, according to NBC.
Most of the tickets were losers, but the final one turned out to be a winning Quick Pick ticket from February 2 that was worth $4,850,000.
"I can’t believe I had $4.85 million in a cookie jar for over three months!" Cerezo told the Illinois Lottery, whose officials presented him with a commemorative check yesterday.
After taxes, Cerezo and his family will receive $3,395,000 according to the Illinois Lottery's report. They plan to use the money to pay off their mortgage, add to their other children's college funds, and donate to their church and various charities.
"Faith tells us our best days are ahead of us," Cerezo told the Beacon-News.
Another man, Melvyn Wilson of Virginia, also had an incredible bout of luck this week. He learned Tuesday that he'd won his fourth lottery jackpot in less than 10 years.
In March, a husband and wife duo from Arizona won their second lotto prize, making them both jackpot winners.