Corona founder leaves over $3 million to every resident in Spanish village of his birth

He may have become a successful businessman and billionaire later in life, but it is clear that Antonino Fernandez never forgot his humble roots.

Mr Fernandez was the CEO of Grupo Modelo, the brewery company that makes Corona Beer.

He died in August this year, but in his will left £169 million (S$301 million) to residents of Cerezales del Condado, the village of his birth in northern Spain, according to the Daily Mail.

As the tiny hamlet is home to just 80 residents, it means that every single villager became a millionaire overnight, inheriting just over £2 million (S$3.56 million).

Cerezales del CondadoPhoto: Google Street View

Mr Fernandez was born in Cerezales on December 13, 1917, and was one of 13 children. At 14, he was forced to quit school because his parents could not afford the fees, International Business Times reported.

When he was 32, he emigrated to Mexico to work for his wife's uncle, who owned the Grupo Modelo brewery. Starting as a warehouse employee, he eventually worked his way up the ranks until he was appointed CEO in 1971.

Under his leadership, he helped make Corona one of the biggest beer brands in the world, The Telegraph reported.

According to online reports, Mr Fernandez's kind act sparked jubilant celebrations in the village. "We never had any money before. I don't know what we would have done without Antonino," bar owner Maximino Sanchez told a local newspaper.

The village will also get a new cultural centre, and a local non-profit foundation will also benefit.

His actions are not entirely out of character, however, Mr Fernandez was a known philanthropist who set up schemes in both Spain and Mexico to help people with disabilities, and had previously been honoured by the former King of Spain, King Juan Carlos, for his charity work.