Jan. 24 (UPI) — A former presidential chef whose mother’s intuition earned him a $ 250,000 lottery prize in North Carolina said he will use the money to feed the hungry.
Chef Roberto Mendoza of Charlotte, who has cooked for presidents Trump and Obama as well as catering the Academy Awards, told North Carolina Education Lottery officials he bought a Hit $ 500 ticket from a 7-Eleven store on the advice of his mother.
“My mom was up visiting,” Mendoza said. “She told me she had a lucky feeling and knew I was going to win the lottery, so I bought a ticket.”
The $ 5 scratch-off ticket turned out to be $ 250,000 jackpot winner.
“My hands started shaking when I saw the numbers,” Mendoza said. “I’ve been shaking ever since.”
Mendoza said his winnings will go toward finishing construction on a cafeteria to feed the hungry in the Dominican Republic.
“We feed more than 300 children through my foundation,” Mendoza said. “I know what it’s like to be hungry. I told myself when I was a teen that, if I’m ever in a position to give back, I’d do everything I can to make sure no one else has to go hungry.”