Jury awards jailed illegal immigrant $750,000 lottery ticket

A jailed illegal immigrant in Georgia is the rightful owner of a $750,000 lottery ticket, a jury decided Thursday.

The Macon Telegraph has an excellent write-up on the tale of suddenly rich but soon-to-be-deported Jose Antonio “Tony” Cua-Toc, 27, a native of Guatemala who entered the country illegally in 2000.

Cua-Toc, a day laborer in the employ of Fort Valley business owner Erick Cervantes, bought the winning Jingle Jumbo Bucks lottery ticket in November 2010. Cua-Toc said he asked Cervantes to cash in the ticket because he was in the country illegally, but Cervantes kept the money.

Cervantes claims he gave Cua-Toc $20 to buy the ticket for him, but jurors watching store video of an exultant Cua-Toc decided that was not the behavior of a man who had just won a fortune for someone else.

The verdict in the civil suit would seem to set precedent — the jury determined the owner of a lottery ticket is not who pays for it, but who actually purchases it, which has me reconsidering the AJC office pool.

Cua-Toc’s winnings after taxes total $517,500. The Houston County jury also awarded him $207,000 in attorney’s fees and $25,000 in punitive damages. He is currently jailed on a DUI charge and will likely be deported after completing his sentence.

According to Georgia law, Cua-Toc could have claimed the prize as an illegal immigrant, which would have made this story a lot less interesting.

Now, I’m off to buy a $1 Mega Millions ticket. The drawing tonight is worth $148 million, and, if I win, I can assure you I won’t be asking my boss to cash it in for me.

* Read the complete story in The Macon Telegraph.

109 comments Add your comment

Beans

March 9th, 2012
3:33 pm

tdavis

March 9th, 2012
3:34 pm

“He will likely be deported when he completes his sentence”????? Really, why WOULDN’T he be deported???? Get ALL the illegals OUT!

pete

March 9th, 2012
3:36 pm

the american way ???????????????/

shane

March 9th, 2012
3:41 pm

At least the state gets the tax revenue for the winnings, because none of the rest of it will probably be sent in the US.

Me

March 9th, 2012
3:42 pm

Before he’s deported we should find out how much money the American tax payers has paid for him and his family since 2000 before he’s deported and get reimbursed while the rest of us slugs keep working away to make ends meet.

wrong

March 9th, 2012
3:44 pm

Wrong on precedent – it is more likely that the jury simply disbelieved the employer’s testimony that he funded the purchase of the winning ticket.

HPUCK

March 9th, 2012
3:44 pm

This guy is illegal, the guy who hired him did it illegally, both are criminals. Our justice system has gone to the dogs. If the average American citizen broke this many laws, they would throw away the key. Our country is lost.

Don't assume

March 9th, 2012
3:46 pm

Actually, many of the immigrants, legal or not, do spend a large portion of their money here. The amount they send home is comparatively small. $10 goes a lot farther in some of these other countries than it does in the US.

doh!

March 9th, 2012
3:58 pm

God I HATE people that will do anything to make a better life for themselves and their families even if that means sneaking into another country where the people hate you and doing jobs NONE of them want to do… What is wrong with these people?!

Bob in Sandy Springs

March 9th, 2012
4:00 pm

Unfortunately, companies hire illegals as independent contractors. After the WSB or TV46 undercover news story over the summer. As a result, deductions are not made by the employer for SS, FICA, GA taxes etc. So big deal they spend 20% of their pay in the state and send 80% to their families.

The next time you are in an emergency room, take a look at the other users of services there. Medicaid sure is great when you don’t pay taxes. Take a look at our schools and the number of students that can’t speak English. They don’t pay taxes, but sure do use the services.

butterfly diva

March 9th, 2012
4:02 pm

I agree with Me. We have probably been supporting his wife and 20 kids since he went to jail and probably before that. Get our money back before giving him his.

George P Burdell

March 9th, 2012
4:03 pm

Thank you for the “droll” writing…
And I agree about reconsidering the office “pool”.

TGI

March 9th, 2012
4:11 pm

FRIDAY ma fuxaz

Just to let you know

March 9th, 2012
4:11 pm

You know theres a price for a green card . I wouldnt be suprised if he wasnt deported for a fee lol

Old Violin

March 9th, 2012
4:36 pm

I’m still trying to figure out the meaning of the word “Illegal” ! If the guy is in this country illegally then his gains are illegally gained ! I have stopped buying tickets, and plan to never buy another one. We pay illegals, we give hope scholarships to illegals and folks from out of state, and we spend millions on advertisements to be pocketed by lottery cronies even though we’re the only game in the state. I am fed up with it, I will talk bad about it, and if given a chance I’ll join a class action lawsuit to clean it up……Billions of dollars spent on education ? Where the heck are the results ?

Sonia Christian

March 9th, 2012
4:37 pm

He bought the ticket with his hard earned money. He deserved to be happy. His boss is a crook and should be arested for his evil deeds.

jsmith

March 9th, 2012
4:39 pm

The good news is that he will not have to work (illegally or legally) anymore :-)

benito

March 9th, 2012
4:39 pm

Awesome. He won the lottery in America. So, now we kick him out and he gets to spend American money in another country. But hey, at least all the anti-immigrants are happy with one less illegal employee in this country. And, I bet he was only holding a job that an American refused to take. I bet Americans could be doing his job, but they’d rather collect money on unemployment.

Denise

March 9th, 2012
4:41 pm

I feel so sorry for you people. Get a life now!!! The more the hate keeps building in your heart, it will eventually manifest in your bodies…cancer, strokes, bad hearts, etc. Try reading up on that instead of unsing the internet for porn…LOSERS!!!!

Latino Voter

March 9th, 2012
4:44 pm

Bob if you are referring to Peachcare – one of the primary qualifications is that you have to be a US Citizen or Legal Resident. Almost half of Americans do not pay federal income tax any yet they still hold their hands out each month for their government handouts. If you want to solve the Immigration Problem, we need immigration reform. Instead of spending billions of dollars sending people back home, why not offer the non-crimal immigrants a path to citizenship which requires them to pay back taxes and refuse goverment assistance for a period of ten years.

JoeQPublic

March 9th, 2012
4:49 pm

I just hope he stays out of the country after he get the money. DWI with all that cash … lots of liquior to be bought … lots of driving down the highway in the wrong direction … let it be Mexico.

Farher A. Long

March 9th, 2012
4:50 pm

We have equal protection. Illegals should not get preference over those who went through the legal process.

smores

March 9th, 2012
4:53 pm

Wlecome to the 1%, congrats and adios amigo. God Bless.

hl

March 9th, 2012
4:54 pm

Bob, You wrote ……..The next time you are in an emergency room, take a look at the other users of services there. Medicaid sure is great when you don’t pay taxes. ……..
Illegals do not qualify for Medicaid but you are right that they must be treated in emergency rooms due to a law that Reagan signed called EMTALA.. The hospital then writes this off but makes up the difference with the rest of us. The uninsured is a problem and it’s not caused just by illegals.

nacho libre

March 9th, 2012
4:55 pm

Congrats Amigo! Welcome to the 1%

Trey

March 9th, 2012
4:55 pm

How about this. If he wants to stay in this country, he can spend that money on becoming a citizen, now.

nacho libre

March 9th, 2012
4:56 pm

Who would Jesus provide medical care for….

Big Schtick

March 9th, 2012
4:59 pm

ha ha ha. You bunch of crybaby losers.
HA HA HA. You are too dumb to do anything meaningful with your lives and you whine because somebody had the cajones to pack up and move here. You were born here. Born here. Didn’t wrestle a gator to get here or anything. Just a dumb little ginger baby, crying and pooping your pants.
But you think that makes you better than this guy.
I say let all the hard working Guatemalans in and YOU crybabies GET OUT. Go back to Scotland or Germany or wherever your ugly ginger great great grandpappy came from.

gforce

March 9th, 2012
4:59 pm

Trust me…he has no reason to stay in the US now. With this kind of money, he’ll live like a king in Guatemala.

D

March 9th, 2012
5:00 pm

bs don’t assume. they spend money on food gas and necessitites. wooh. they live in apartments with 10 others. most of their $ goes to s and central america.

Trey

March 9th, 2012
5:01 pm

Big Schtick, go back to Spain where your ancestors came from.

Big Schtick

March 9th, 2012
5:01 pm

How about this. He takes his money and spends it however he pleases. Gives it all to his parents in Guatemala and then slips back across the border and goes back to work here.
And you just sit there with your bald spot and your bad breath pecking away at your keyboard.
LOSER.

Trey

March 9th, 2012
5:02 pm

Big Schtick, two people can play that bigot game.

Trey

March 9th, 2012
5:04 pm

Big Schtick, I could sit here and argue with you, but I have a life, unlike you. By the way, I know I’m not bald, nor do I have bad breath. Don’t believe me? Your mother does.

William Carson Jr.

March 9th, 2012
5:04 pm

I love this story. It is so heart warming.
I hope he uses some of the proceeds to buy a new car and a fifth of Patron and proceeds to drive his car straight through that gaping hole between Ted’s wife’s legs.

Delta Hog Moss

March 9th, 2012
5:07 pm

Well if he’s an illegal, than legally he shouldn’t have been paid American money to be able to purchase the ticket. Then again, if a 16 yr old gives his mommy money for a lotto ticket and he earned that money by cutting the grass, then should he not be rewarded for the winnings or would he not because he was not the purchaser as well as not of legal age? Should mommy be considered a bad parent for somehow promoting gambling to her 16 year old son even if the ultimate goal of that gambling is to put him through college so long as he makes good grades? I dunno you figure it out.

hmmm...

March 9th, 2012
5:09 pm

If he is here illegally, why is he sitting in jail using more taxpayers services. When the authorities arrested ham and find out he was illegal, why did they not go ahead and deport him?

What???

March 9th, 2012
5:10 pm

Everyone on Medicaid is not illegal. Also, there are those of us (Americans) who have had to stop working for health reasons and have to get on Medicaid. Please, don’t put everyone in the same basket.

Too bad the money will be taken to another country and spent. We could have used it here in America.

go big schtick

March 9th, 2012
5:13 pm

I own a small business, and the “americans” generally won’t show up for work. Half are on drugs, the other half will rob you blind, and others have 2 or 3 kids by 2 or 3 women. We need to take a lesson from these hard-working immigrants and copy their ways if we want this country to be great again. Face it, Americans are lazy. and it’s killing the nation.

Capt. Courageous

March 9th, 2012
5:13 pm

Only lazy ignorant Southern white trash like Ted have anything to fear from undocumented workers.
Everyone else knows their jobs and well-being are safe because they have the skills, education and work ethic to take care of their own.
Don’t you babies worry. With Gov. Deal and the other idiots at the Capitol, we won’t have to worry about illegal immigration in Georgia for long because laborers only go where the jobs are. And there won’t be any jobs left in Georgia by the time they’re finished praying and peeing on each other’s backsides instead of working on the local economy.

go big schtick

March 9th, 2012
5:14 pm

hey hmmm –

the deportation process is not immediate. it requires transportation, background checks and discussions with the receiving nation.

Five-year-old

March 9th, 2012
5:18 pm

Trey rhymes with Gay.
Only gays hate immigrants.
Trey hates immigrants.
Trey is gay.
Trey the gaywad.

Big Sctick

March 9th, 2012
5:19 pm

Gotta run. Got some expensive drinks and dinner and attractive ladies waiting for me.
I guess if I didn’t have so much going for me I’d be sitting around whining about illegal immigrants.
Later losers.

Big Schtick

March 9th, 2012
5:20 pm

One more thing . . . ah, never mind.

BB Gunn

March 9th, 2012
5:23 pm

I wish people would quit downing us unemployed. Not ALL OF US want to be on unemployment. When your employer comes to you and says, “today is your last day”, what do YOU DO??? You still have to eat, still have to look for work, we or I am not unemployed and getting $249.00 a week because I am lazy… WHO CAN LIVE OFF OF THAT??? I LOST MY DAMN JOB. I AM NOT A DEAD BEAT., I DON’T GET MEDICADE NOR MEDICARE…BUT BENITO do you seriously think that everyone is on unemployment because we don’t want to do certian jobs? How about if you go and look for work…see what you find. Just see…there are sooo many people over qualified and even they aren’t getting jobs. People like you piss me off.

Denise

March 9th, 2012
5:23 pm

@ GO BIG SCHTICK…you can’t even bend over to tie your own shoe. Go for a walk!!! Stop being so hateful and judgemental. Until your heart changes….your business will remain SMALL. Oh, I apoloigze, you have personally met EVERY single person in this country and you have it all figured out.

BB Gunn

March 9th, 2012
5:26 pm

BIG SCHTICK, you don’t have anywhere to go…if you did you wouldn’t be on here…what comes around goes around…don’t choke on that expensive dinner…

xenophobic a-hole

March 9th, 2012
5:30 pm

If only we were this concerned about issues that really matter, maybe something of real priority would get accomplished. Thanks for the $6 peanut butter, dickwads.
Everyone was an immigrant once, after we stole this land and all moved in.

Lazy

March 9th, 2012
5:34 pm

Big Schtick don’t choke on that expensive dinner of tube steak!

Here we go again

March 9th, 2012
5:41 pm

Any government assistance that this ILLEGAL immigrant received when he came into this country should be deducted from the $750,000.00. Why should tax payers continue to pay bills for people that are not LEGAL AMERICAN CITIZENS!!!
Enough is enough.