Make-A-Wish Gets Surprise Gift at Keeneland

Anonymous bettor donates winning $26,000 ticket to charity foundation for children.

When Keeneland honored the Make-A-Wish Foundation Oct. 10, it was primarily for the purpose of  granting the wishes of nine children by giving them a VIP experience at the track, including presentation of trophies in the winner's circle.

But at the end of the day, the Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana chapter of Make-A-Wish Foundation was the recipient of a large donation thanks to an anonymous bettor who gave the organization a winning Pick 4 ticket worth $26,000.

According to Keeneland, the donor, who divulged only that he was from Marietta, Ga., asked two Make-A-Wish workers if they could walk with him to one of the betting windows to cash a "big" ticket but gave little indication of the enormity of the gift.

"He said, 'I don't want anything from this,' tapped our shoulders and vanished," Make-A-Wish's Jessica Cary said. "He didn't want anything for it. (The teller) was like, 'Do you know how much this ticket is worth?' When she told us, our mouths just dropped."

"Make-A-Wish Day at Keeneland is about the Thoroughbred industry rallying around these kids," Make-A-Wish marketing communications coordinator Emily Denholm said. "To have such a phenomenal gift like this is just inspiring. It speaks volumes to the courage of our kids, the power of their stories and the power of the wish. This gift is really going to help us grant more wishes. It's really, really generous to have someone walk up and literally grant several wishes."