Though he's not even 2 years old yet, Billy D'Onofrio is curious about everything. He fiddles with the family phones and accidentally calls people. He plays with the television and winds up changing channels.
Now his curiosity has paid off.
The 21-month-old toddler, who lives in Brewster, N.Y., recently dismantled his family's TV remote control console to reveal a tiny Duracell battery worth $100,000.
The purple AAA battery was one of 12 the manufacturer stuck the label "winner" on as part of a promotional campaign. After Billy threw another battery in the garbage, the D'Onofrios put the lucky one into the remote without realizing its value.
But on Jan. 20, the small boy managed to open the remote and shake the special battery onto the floor, where his mother, Lisa, finally noticed it. She assumed it would get her a coupon.
"I would have been happy with a year's worth of batteries," she told The Journal News.
But Duracell told her the prize was $100,000.
"I can't believe we won something this big," Lisa D'Onofrio said. The family will use the money to boost the children's college funds — they have a 9- and 6-year old, as well — and pay a few large bills, she said. The family was to pick up its check Thursday at the Toys "R" Us in Danbury, Conn. (search), where the battery was purchased.
"How lucky was that child?" said Michele Szynal, communications director of Gillette Co., Duracell's parent. "Just thinking about it makes me smile."
— Thanks to Out There reader Don W.
Don't take away our kids' jungle gym, a Missouri family is telling its town.
Seventeen residents of Manchester, Mo., signed a petition demanding that Lauren Pruitt take down the enormous $7,000 structure she put up in her backyard for her son Jack, according to WKMG-TV of Orlando, Fla.
The wooden structure towers over neighboring houses, reaching a height of 21 feet. Manchester officials ruled this week that the family must cut it down by at least 7 feet of the jungle gym because it violates city code, which mandates that auxiliary structures be no taller than the adjoining home.
Pruitt, however, said that if the jungle gym comes down, her family will sell its house and move.
A brain tumor was to blame for having wild sexual exploits and stealing nearly $40,000, a Maryland man tried to convince a Virginia jury.
Michel Agujia, formerly director of information technology for the town of Leesburg, Va., admitted that he had racked up $38,281.32 in charges for escort services and car parts on the town's credit card, according to Leesburg Today.
But, he insisted, the removal of a brain tumor that restored his natural hormone levels caused him to become a "sex addict" who had no control over his own actions.
"I started to have more sexual desire," Agujia, a married man with two children, testified. "I was trying to stop, and, with the knowledge I know now, I would not have been able to do this on my own."
Agujia's credit-card records showed charges made to escort services with such names as "Sweeties" and "VanessaDash," and after he resigned his job last September, he testified in the prostitution trial of one escort-service operator.
Prosecutor Jim Plowman was skeptical, pointing out that BMW brake pads and rotors (search), which were billed to the town, weren't exactly the stuff of sexual addiction.
"I don't accept his explanation," Plowman said. "It's unsubstantiated."
Convicted of two counts of embezzlement, and facing up to 40 years in prison, Agujia was sentenced Wednesday to only four months in jail plus three years' probation. He'll also have to repay the town the money he stole, though accrued vacation time and pension funds will help make up the difference.
"A lot of people have urges of one sort or another, but they don't satisfy those urges with theft," said Judge Burke F. McCahill. "That's the key distinction."
WHEELING, W.Va. (AP) — An Ohio County Circuit judge declared a mistrial in a drug case after a juror was seen drinking a beer during a lunch break.
Judge James Mazzone said Tuesday he would schedule a new trial for William "Willie" Mayfield, 20, of Wheeling, who is charged with possession with intent to distribute both marijuana and crack cocaine, obstructing an officer and battery.
Mayfield is free on bond.
Mazzone said the juror, whom he did not identify, had been seen drinking a beer during the lunch recess at a local establishment. The matter was reported to Mazzone's bailiff, Lt. Melvin Cunningham of the Ohio County Sheriff's Department, who in turn informed the judge.
No charges are expected to be filed against the juror.
Wheeling police arrested Mayfield on Dec. 21 after they allegedly found 4.6 grams of crack cocaine and 37.8 grams of marijuana on him while searching for weapons.
Mayfield is accused of striking Sgt. Lou Dvoracek on the shoulder and spitting on a paramedic who was called to treat him after officers sprayed him with pepper spray.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Someone who apparently doesn't have a whole lot of respect for Daytona Beach has stolen about 300 signs printed up by the city saying, "It's all about respect."
As part of an effort to get the spring-break crowd to tone down its sometimes-rowdy behavior, merchants put the slogan on trash cans.
Police don't think spring-breakers were responsible. They say too many of the respect signs were taken at one time for it to have been a college prank.
The Daytona Beach Police Department hopes for some clues from area security cameras.
Compiled by Foxnews.com's Paul Wagenseil.
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