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How Much Money Did Milana Vayntrub Actually Make From AT&T?

Milana Vayntrub is probably best known to most people as Lily, the AT&T commercial spokesperson. Although she appeared in "ER" and "Days of Our Lives" before she was even 10 years old, her first appearance on screen came even earlier. When Vayntrub was just a toddler, hers was one of many Jewish families that fled the former Soviet Union. While they waited in Ladispoli, Italy to be screened by the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the family was interviewed by Fox News. The 2-year-old Vayntrub spoke just one word — telling the camera the family is headed for "America" (via Fox 11 Los Angeles).

After waiting in Europe for a year, the Vaytntrubs finally arrived in California in 1989. Milana said her mother worked two jobs while pursuing a nursing degree and her father delivered donuts, so acting was a way for her to help her family. When she was 16, Vayntrub took an equivalency exam and left high school to enroll at the University of California at San Diego, where she majored in communications and played with the Upright Citizens Brigade, per UC San Diego News Center.

Vayntrub appeared in three episodes of "Lizzie McGuire" as a teenager and in several comic short films before landing guest roles in "Daddy Knows Best" and "The League" in 2012, per IMDb. But it would be her performance as the cheerful AT&T expert that would make her so popular and widely known.

AT&T has made the former Soviet refugee a fairly wealthy person

Vayntrub first appeared as Lily from 2013 until 2016 before returning for a series of COVID-themed ads that she also directed. She was originally slated for just one spot, but Valerie Vargas, AT&T's Vice President of Advertising and Marketing Communications told AdWeek that "it was so well-received that we kept bringing her back."

Director Hank Perlman said Lily was "a multi-dimensional character in a way that's rare for commercials. We try as hard as we can not only to make her funny but to make her as strong, smart and human as possible. And hopefully all of that makes her as relatable as a character in a 30-second commercial can be."

Lily's informative and good-natured relatability has translated into about $3 million in earnings for Vayntrub, according to Celebrity Net Worth. That wealth has enabled her to help Syrian refugees facing a plight similar to the one her family did in 1989, forming her charitable organization "Can't Do Nothing" in 2016 after happening across a landing party of said refugees while vacationing in Greece (via KGW). "I didn't know what I could do but I knew I couldn't sit idly by ... I do know what it's like to be an outsider," she said. She has come a long way from refugee to Squirrel Girl and will no doubt continue to use her wealth to help families in need.