.

Geneva's 'Cookie Jar' Lottery Winner to Appear on 'Katie'

The Geneva resident who cashed in a $4.85 million lottery ticket on May 15, will appear Monday, July 1, on the ABC television show hosted by Katie Couric.

Ricardo Cerezo holds up the lottery check showing the $4.85 million jackpot in the Feb. 2 Lotto drawing.
Ricardo Cerezo holds up the lottery check showing the $4.85 million jackpot in the Feb. 2 Lotto drawing.
When Ricardo Cerezo looked into his cookie jar a few months ago, he found a fortune.

And on Monday, he'll find his 15 minutes of fame.

Cerezo, the Geneva resident who cashed in a $4.85 million lottery ticket on May 15, will appear Monday, July 1, on Katie, the ABC television show hosted by Katie Couric, according to an article in the Kane County Chronicle.

Cerezo and his wife won the jackpot prize in the Illinois Lottery's Feb. 2 Lotto drawing after checking some old Lottery tickets and discovering he had been socking away the winning ticket for three months. He had kept 11 unchecked Lotto tickets in the cookie jar, until his wife said he'd better check them before they expired.

The eighth ticket hit the jackpot, and the story got national attention.

One of the many cool aspects of the story is that the Cerezos really needed the money. The Chronicle article said they were "in the process of losing their Geneva home" and behind on payments when they discovered the Quick Pick winning ticket.

Another endearing aspect of the story is that, once the mortgage is paid and they share some of their winnings with their son and daughter, they plan to contribute to their church and favorite charities.

“It is very important to us that we help others with this money,” Cerezo said in the Illinois Lottery press release.

The ticket was purchased at 7-Eleven, 2411 West Sullivan Road in Aurora. The store received a bonus of $48,500 for selling a winning ticket.

After required state and federal withholding, Cerezo will receive $3.395 million.

Monday's Katie carries the headline, "Life After Lottery: Meet Some of the Biggest Lottery Winners Ever!" and the tagline, "How mega-millionaires keep their lives on track while enjoying their newfound riches," on the KatieCouric.com website, but Cerezo's story is more about joy the Cerezos are spreading with the more-modest sum they won.

“I’m awestruck, this is unbelievable!” Cerezo said back in May.

Katie aires at 3 p.m. on ABC.

Arthur Dietrich June 30, 2013 at 11:49 AM
I wonder if he could lend me $30k to cover my latest surgery.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »