Three years after losing their homes in Hurricane Sandy, a couple has won the lottery. Maryann Daino and Dennis Klaus won $255,555 in Connecticut’s 5 Card Cash lottery in October, 2014. However, they did not claim their winnings until last week.
Between October 22 and November 5, 2012, Hurricane Sandy caused an estimated $68 billion in damage and left nearly 300 people dead.
Amid the devastating superstorm, Mary Ann Daino, who lived on Staten Island, and Dennis Klaus, who lived in Brooklyn, both lost their homes.
Although they were strangers, Daino and Klaus both relocated to New Milford, Connecticut. As they had similar backgrounds, and attended the same church, the evacuees soon became close friends.
Fox News reports that Daino and Klaus eventually fell in love and purchased a modest mobile home. As they lost everything in Hurricane Sandy, the couple decided to play the lottery.
— AOL.com (@AOL) April 10, 2015
Maryann Daino and Dennis Klaus hit the jackpot on October 12, 2014. Although the couple was ecstatic, they were hesitant to collect their winnings. Klaus explains why he and his girlfriend waited seven months to claim their prize.
“We lost everything before and we didn’t want to lose everything again. We wanted to be careful, so we talked to an accountant and a lawyer first.”
Although they won $255,555, Daino and Klaus had to pay more than $80,000 in taxes. Thankfully, they were left with enough money to purchase a new home.
Klaus said he and his girlfriend are in the process of buying a home in New Milford so they can “start [their] life together in a town that has taken [them] in.”
— Mona Rivera (@WINSmona) April 9, 2015
Daino and Klaus lost everything in Hurricane Sandy, but the couple’s lottery winnings have given them hope for a brighter future. Daino said she hopes her story will encourage others to persevere.
“It’s important that people know you have to keep the faith because there is life afterwards, and there’s a wonderful life waiting.”
Maryann Daino and Dennis Klaus said they were thankful to survive Hurricane Sandy. The couple’s lottery win has only added to their good luck.
[Image via Spencer Platt/Getty Images]