Sometimes the most unexpected things happen in life, and sometimes the most unpleasant experiences can unexpectedly lead to amazing blessings.
That was the case for one lucky man, who is now a millionaire — and it all started with open-heart surgery.
Alexander McLeish, of Attleborough, Massachusetts, underwent the surgery early last month. While that’s never a pleasant experience, he at least had the support of his friends.
While he was recovering, childhood friend named Larry sent him a “get well” card, with a few scratch-offs from the Massachusetts State Lottery inside.
One was “$5,000,000 100X Cashword” game, a crossword-themed card. Scratching to reveal the letters, he saw his initials — A, W, and M — a coincidence he took to be a good omen.
He continued playing… and soon was stunned to discover he won a $1 million prize!
Fittingly enough, the word that won him the jackpot was “HEART.” Alex was stunned by his good luck.
“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,” Alex told the Boston Herald. “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?”
According to the Massachusetts Lottery, that’s the second-largest possible jackpot from the game. The odds of winning are just 1 in 1,008,000.
According to the lottery’s site, Alex took his winnings as a one-time cash sum of $650,000, before taxes.
Remarkably, this isn’t even the first time this has happened: a few years ago, Larry gave him a scratch-off for his 60th birthday, and Alex won $1,000. (And both lucky scratch-offs were purchased at Quickeez Beer, Wine and Convenience Store in Carver. The store receives a bonus from the lottery for selling a winning ticket.)
But this time Alex has won a real jackpot, and he’s decided to spread the wealth: he says he will give part of his winnings to his sons — and some to Larry, who is clearly his good luck charm.
Alex told the Herald that he had already booked an upcoming trip to the Bahamas, but it will “be a little bit more enhanced” thanks to his winnings.