Talk of the town in Abernathy focuses on new multi-millionare - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Talk of the town in Abernathy focuses on new multi-millionare

Source: KCBD Video Source: KCBD Video

A 71-year-old man from Abernathy is $177 million dollars richer tonight, after winning the largest lottery jackpot in Arkansas history.

Eliberto Cantu bought the ticket March 30th, while working in the Little Rock area.

In the town of Abernathy, just about everyone knows everyone.

And that's no exception for Eliberto Cantu and his family.

So, it's no surprise that word of his winnings traveled quickly.

"Ohhhh, I think that's great," says Mary Riojas.

"I hope I will get lucky and win that much too," says Joel Plasencio.

"Kind of shocking because I've never met anyone that won the lottery," says Robert Hicks.

"Unbelievable," says Kimberly Hicks.

While 71-year-old Eliberto Cantu and his family may now be an anomaly to some, to Mary Riojas, they're just her long-time neighbors.

"They're very nice people, so I think they're....they're just gonna share," says Riojas.

However, Riojas says if roles were reversed, she knows what she would do with the money.

"I would give back to God, because that's something that comes from God."

Which is exactly what the Cantu's are doing.

"Their first priority they have been going to the same church for about 35 years and the church is going to be leveled and be rebuilt and the sister church of that church is going to be leveled and rebuilt," said their son during a news conference today.

While the Cantus are Riojas' neighbors...across town at Little Slice of Heaven Cafe, for Robert and Kimberly Hicks, the Cantus are loyal customers.

"Regular every day people. He comes in here every Friday and eats our fish special," says Robert.

But, the Hicks say the Cantu's decision to give back doesn't surprise them.

"They're very good people. Very honest and humble, you know?"

Something they say is a testament to living in west Texas.

"I think this community does a lot of that," says Robert.

The Hicks say the next time they see the Cantu's, they don't anticipate them acting any different.

"Probably be the same," says Kimberly.

"Probably be exactly the same. He'll walk up to the counter, get his order and we'll bring his food out and take care of him, just like normal," says Robert.

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