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Man wins $1 million on lottery ticket gift after heart surgery

Alexander McLeish won a $1 million prize from a scratch-off ticket gifted to him by a childhood...
Alexander McLeish won a $1 million prize from a scratch-off ticket gifted to him by a childhood friend after heart surgery. He says he plans to share some of the winnings with his friend.(Source: Massachusetts State Lottery via Twitter)
Published: Dec. 1, 2021 at 2:39 AM CST
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(Gray News) - A Massachusetts man is feeling lucky after a scratch-off ticket gifted to him by a childhood friend following open-heart surgery won him a $1 million prize.

Alexander McLeish got three scratch-off tickets in a get-well card from his childhood friend, Larry, after he had open-heart surgery in November, according to the Boston Herald. One of those, a “$5,000,000 100X Cashword” instant ticket, paid off with a $1 million prize.

Incredibly, the first three letters McLeish revealed on the winning ticket were A, W and M, his initials. Then, he found the word “heart” on the bottom row, one of 11 words that meant he won $1 million, the Herald reports.

“We double-checked it, triple-checked and quadruple-checked it because you want to make sure it’s real before you mention it to anybody,” McLeish told the newspaper. “It was a little bit of disbelief at first, but then it settled in and it was like, ‘Wow, I can’t believe this happened, you know?’”

If the whole thing weren’t enough of a coincidence already, this is the second time Larry has gifted McLeish a lottery ticket that turned out to a be winner.

The first time was for McLeish’s 60th birthday, and he won $1,000. Both winning tickets came from the same convenience store in Carver, the Herald reports.

McLeish claimed his prize Friday from the Massachusetts State Lottery. He chose the cash option and received $650,000 before taxes.

He told the Herald he plans to give some of the money to his adult sons and some to Larry. He also plans to use it to “enhance” his upcoming, already-booked trip to the Bahamas.

The odds of McLeish winning $1 million were 1 in 1,008,000. That specific scratch-off game has 10 total winners at that amount, the second highest prize.

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