The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

March 26, 2013

Son: immigrant father and lottery winner will do "something good"

— The son of a Dominican immigrant who won the $338 million Powerball jackpot said Tuesday he knows his father will "do something good with the money."

As state lottery officials prepared to introduce the winner at lottery headquarters, Casiano Quezada also said his family plans to keep open the Passaic bodega they have run for years.

Quezada's father, Pedro, showed up late Monday at the liquor store in Passaic where he purchased the ticket to have it validated.

Lottery officials scheduled a news conference Tuesday afternoon to formally declare Pedro Quezada the winner.

Casiano said he is proud of his father and still in disbelief that he won the jackpot.

"I know he's going to do something good with the money," he said from behind the counter of the family bodega, the Apple Deli Grocery. His father might decide to open another store.

"It's a blessing," he said. "It's something that happened and you just have to take it as it is."

The family moved to the U.S. in the 1980s from the Dominican city of Jarabacoa, he said.

Pedro Quezada's neighbors see a lot of themselves in the winner: hardworking, a family man, an immigrant, and someone who has known hard times.

That's why they were so thrilled that one of their own has finally struck it rich.

"This is super for all of us on this block," said Eladia Vazquez, who has lived across the street from Quezada's building for the past 25 years. Quezada and his family "deserve it because they are hardworking people."

Speaking in Spanish, Quezada, who has five children, told reporters at the grocery Monday that he was very happy and that he intends to help his family.

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