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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Jesus Leonardo: A former Taxi driver who converts OTB Trash to Cash

You may not know Jesus Leonardo from New York, but he is the former taxi driver who converts OTB trash to cash.

As reported at CBS News recently, he is making a living by picking up discarded betting slips at racetracks, hoping to find winning tickets.

It all started in 1999 when Leonardo mistakenly threw away a winning ticket. He panicked but OTB let him take home the garbage to find it. He didn't find his ticket, but he found two others worth $2,000.

Then he figured out that he was on to something easier and better than driving a cab. He sees opportunity in each pile of garbage with hundreds of discarded betting slips.

Now, he earns from $1 to $300 each day but he admits it is a tedious work and long hours. A few times a year, he hits a jackpot.

"The most was $12,000 ... $9,000, $8,000," Leonardo said.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for OTB said that stooping is against OTB policy. He also said that Leonardo is not technically a stooper because he doesn't pick the tickets off the floor, but collects the garbage each night from OTB offices.

Jesus Leonardo has a unique way of making money for New York City standards. But he said everyone is capable of converting trash to cash.

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