A Massachusetts man was recovering from open-heart surgery when a friend gave him a get-well card with three scratch-off tickets earlier this month. One of those scratch-offs contained the $1 million prize, CNN reports.
Alexander McLeish received three “$5,000,000 100X Cashword” instant tickets, a crossword-style game where players are given letters in order to build words. The first three letters that were revealed just so happened to be his initials—A, W, and M. McLeish continued scratching, only to make another apropos discovery en route to the $1 million prize.
“As if that wasn’t enough of a positive omen, the word that appeared on the bottom row of his winning puzzle was ‘HEART,’” per the Massachusetts State Lottery.
McLeish claimed his prize Friday, and took home a one-time payment of $650,000 before taxes. No word on how much of his winnings will be given to his friend Larry, who also gave him a ticket on his 60th birthday several years ago and won $1,000. Larry later told him that he picked up these latest scratch-offs from the same seemingly lucky location.
“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 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.”
McLeish already booked a vacation to the Bahamas, but with his new winnings, he can look forward to a trip that’s “a little more enhanced.”