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Lottery winner, 31, and her one-year-old daughter killed by husband in murder-suicide


Newly-wed California lottery winner, 31, and her one-year-old daughter are shot and killed ‘by her new husband before he turned gun on himself’ nine months after her $2million payday

  • Officials say John Donato, 42, killed his wife, Tiffani Hill, and fatally injured their 23-month-old daughter, Leanne, who later died, before turning gun on himself
  • Hill’s three older children, ages 7, 9 and 11, were in the home but were unharmed 
  • Apparent double murder-suicide took place in Oklahoma on July 30, nine months after Hill won $2million from a Scratchers lottery ticket 
  • Family lawyer said Hill was the victim of domestic violence and that her lottery win was source of ‘conflict’ between her and Donato   

A mother-of-four who won $2million in the California Lottery just nine months ago was shot and killed in Oklahoma along with her one-year-old daughter in an apparent murder-suicide that police say was carried out by her newlywed husband. 

The bodies of Tiffani Hill, 31, and her husband, John Donato, 42, were discovered at the family’s home in Calera, Oklahoma, on July 30. The couple’s 23-month-old daughter, Leanne Donato, was also wounded in the shooting and later succumbed to her injuries.  

Authorities said Donato, who was said to have been abusive, allegedly shot his wife and daughter before turning the gun on himself. Three other children who were in the home at the time were unharmed, according to police.

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Lottery winner Tiffani Hill, 31, and her 23-month-old daughter, Leanne Donato, were shot and killed in a double murder-suicide allegedly carried out by the woman’s husband 

John Donato and Tiffani Hill

Hill and two of her daughters

Police say John Donato, 42 (left), Hill’s newlywed husband, fatally shot his wife and their daughter (right) before turning the gun on himself in Oklahoma on July 30

The tragedy took place in Calera, Oklahoma, where Hill had moved after winning $2million in the California Lottery

The tragedy took place in Calera, Oklahoma, where Hill had moved after winning $2million in the California Lottery 

No specific motive was revealed, but a lawyer representing the victims’ family said Hill’s lottery win had been a source of ‘conflict’ between the couple. 

The FBI is leading the investigation into the suspect double murder-suicide because it took place on tribal land. Hill was a registered member of the Choctaw Nation, reported SFgate.com

Hill was living in California when in November 2020 she won $2million from a Scratchers lottery ticket. A few months later, she married Donato and moved to Oklahoma. 

Theresa McGehee, the family’s lawyer, suggested that Hill had been the victim of domestic violence, reported KXII.

A family lawyer said Hill was the victim of domestic violence

Hill's lottery win in November 2020 was said to have been a source of 'conflict' between her and Donato

A family lawyer said Hill was the victim of domestic violence, and that her lottery win in November 2020 had been a source of ‘conflict’ between her and Donato

Hill's lottery winnings will be placed in a trust to benefit her two older daughters and son, ages 7, 9 and 11 (pictured)

Hill’s lottery winnings will be placed in a trust to benefit her two older daughters and son, ages 7, 9 and 11 (pictured) 

‘Tiffany never reached out to me about anything about that nature, but I did speak with her mom and her mom, wants the message that Tiffany was trying to get away from it,’ she said.

McGehee also speculated that Hill’s payout might have played a role in the tragedy.

‘Could that have sparked that argument, and we’ll never have any way of knowing,’ McGehee said. ‘But I do know there were times it caused conflict between them.’

Hill’s sister, Jamie Kern, has launched a GoFundMe campaign to help the family bring her three surviving children back home to California and secure their custody.

Hill’s lottery winnings will be placed in a trust to benefit her two older daughters and son, ages 7, 9 and 11.

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