N.M. Firefighters Donate Lottery Winnings to Colleague

A group of Albuquerque firefighters may have been one number off from the $640 million Mega Millions jackpot this weekend, but the money they did win will help a colleague in dire need.

The five firefighters from Station 8 are putting the money toward a fund to help Firefighter Vincent Cordova who is set to undergo a three-day surgery to remove a brain tumor, according to KRQE-TV.

Three winners in Maryland, Illinois and Kansas will split the millions, but matching five of the six numbers was good enough to win the the firefighters close to $10,000.

The surgery to remove the mass the size of two golf balls costs close to $1 million.

"I'm nervous. I'm scared. I've got these butterflies in my stomach that just won't leave, but I'm hanging in there," Cordova told the news station.

About the donation he said: "I can't believe that the fireman bond is so strong."

The firefighters -- who bought the winning ticket just minutes for lotto sales stopped -- said they are just glad to help.

"We love our brother firefighters," Lt. Steve Keffer said. "We all know we have challenges in our lives and things happen, so we decided to help his family out and do what we can do for him."

Other firefighters and community members are holding dozens of fundraisers to help Cordova with the costs.

He said he's received letters and prayers from all over the country and is thankful for all of the support he's received.