A man facing foreclosure on his Geneva, Ill., house found a solution to his problem in the unlikeliest of places—the cookie jar.
Richard Cerezo was going through his old lottery tickets, which he kept in a cookie jar, the Chicago Tribune reports, and took them to the 7-Eleven to see if he had any winners. For one of them, it turned out, he needed to file a claim, which, according to Cerezo, meant the ticket was worth at least $600.
Excited, he returned home and checked the numbers on his computer.
From the Chicago Tribune:
“As each number kept matching, the smile kept going higher and higher. And when I realized we had all six numbers, it was that shocking moment of, ‘Whoa, can this really be?’” he said in a news conference on Wednesday. “Fast forward to the next day, Monday: Called in sick ... went down into Chicago. It’s one of feelings where it’s okay if they fire me.”
Cerezo spoke to lottery officials, who told him the ticket was worth $4.85 million. Cerezo told reporters that he purchased the ticket in February, which meant he'd been sitting on the fortune for months without realizing it.
“It couldn’t have happened at a better time," Cerezo said, according to the paper. "I just thought, this is how God works."
Cerezo said he plans to use part of the winnings to pay off his home.