Couple leaves over $847k inheritance to the US Govt.


A married couple, immigrants Peter and Joan Petrasek, from Seattle, who had no known relatives left all of their money and assets to “the government of the United States.

Peter Petrasek was born in the 1920s in what was then Czechoslovakia, and would have been 12 when the Nazis invaded.

Details about his early life are scarce, but at some point during World War II he was placed into a youth camp run by the German air force, according to The Seattle Times but applied for immigration status in the US and was granted. His sister and parents all died during the Nazi invasion.

Little has been reported about Joan’s origins, other than that she was from Ireland. She married Peter in Ottawa, Ontario, in 1951.
Joan died in 1998 at age 79 from breast cancer. Peter lived another 14 years, dying in 2012 at age 85. It took a lawyer a few years to fulfill the couple’s request of donating their estate to the government. (Peter Petrasek) wanted to make a statement about how much it meant to him to be an American citizen,” said Peter Winn, an assistant U.S. attorney who handled the couple’s donation.

ABC News reported on Thursday that last month, a cashier check totaling $847,215.57 was made out to the Department of the Treasury.

The government deposited the money into its general fund.


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