Thursday, November 20, 1997
Third area lottery winner dies
By ROY A. JONES II / Abilene Reporter-News
Last week's death of an Eastland woman marked the third in
the small community of Big Country residents who have struck it
rich in the Texas Lottery.
The death of Mary Beatrice Sancillo, 70, means that of the
10 winning Texas Lotto tickets sold in the Big Country to area
residents, nearly one-third have been touched by death. Two other
winning tickets sold in the Big Country were purchased by people
who lived elsewhere.
Two of the winning Lotto tickets sold in the Big Country had
multiple winners -- 19 employees of BJ Services, Inc., of Snyder
shared half of a $35 million jackpot on June 5, 1996, and 43 people
in Roby shared a $46 million jackpot. Thanksgiving Day will be
the one-year anniversary of their big win.
Mrs. Sancillo was the wife of Ben Sancillo, a former Eastland
and Ranger police officer and Eastland County deputy sheriff who
was one of 16 winners sharing the state's first $50 million jackpot
on Feb. 21, 1996. Sancillo's winning share was $3,900,345.
The two other area winners who both died shortly after they
received their good fortune were:
Donny David Doster, 57, of Stamford, became the Big Country's
biggest Texas Lottery millionaire when he won $35.3 million last
Feb. 5. Less than five months later, on July 30, he died in an
Abilene hospital from complications stemming from heart bypass
surgery earlier that day.
Porter Richardson, 80, a retired longtime Colorado City radio
station engineer, died in June 1995, only three months after he
won a $4.3 million jackpot.
Texas Lottery Commission officials said Richardson was the
first Lotto winner to die before all payments had been made. By
law, the remaining the remaining 19 payments are going to his
heirs, as stated in his will.
Unlike Doster, Richardson was in poor health when he won the
jackpot, and Mrs. Sancillo had been a kidney patient for many
years. A friend said Doster went to his doctor for a routine physical
exam and was found to have major heart blockage. Two days later
he died after a quadruple bypass operation.
Meanwhile, a Big Spring woman who won $12.87 million in the
Texas Lotto two years ago is awaiting a decision on how much of
her winnings she will have to share with her husband, who was
in prison when she became one of three persons to share a $51.5
Shortly after she accepted her first check for more than $643,000,
Carol Rains, a waitress, was sued by R.C. Mills, a retired refinery
worker who claimed he bought the ticket and gave it to Rains with
the agreement they would split the winnings.
Six months after Mills filed the suit, the two agreed to split
all the winnings. Each now receives about $322,000 a year.
Earlier this month, however, a Howard County jury was asked
to recommend a property settlement in the divorce being sought
by Rains and her husband of 17 years, Gregory Turner, who was
recently released from prison. The jury recommended that future
Lotto payments be divided equally between Rains and Turner.
District Judge Robert Moore III said he instructed the attorneys
for the two parties to try to work out a compromise that will
not be appealed, and submit it to him for approval. He said Wednesday
he understood the attorneys reached an agreement after a five-hour
session, but that it has not been presented to him yet.
Other community property besides the annual lottery payment
figures into the compromise. If Rains' winnings are split again,
her annual check will drop to $161,000, one-fourth of what she
originally thought she won.
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