- A Massachusetts man who was gifted a lottery ticket in a get-well-soon card won a $US1 ($AU1) million prize.
- Alexander McLeish was recovering from open-heart surgery on Thanksgiving when he won.
- “I was calm and a little bit in disbelief,” he told The Washington Post.
A man who was gifted a lottery ticket in a get-well-soon card has won a $US1 ($AU1) million prize in the Massachusetts State Lottery, according to a news release by the lottery provider.
Alexander McLeish, a 62-year-old sales merchandiser for Coca-Cola from Attleboro, spent Thanksgiving recovering from open-heart surgery earlier in November when he realized he had won on a $US5 ($AU7) million “100X Cashword” instant ticket game, The Washington Post’s Lateshia Beachum reported.
The news release, published on November 26, the day he collected his winnings, noted that McLeish said the ticket was one of three purchased for him by his friend.
“As he began to scratch the ‘Your Letters’ area of the ticket, the first three letters revealed were A, W, and M,” the release added, noting that they were McLeish’s initials.
“As if that wasn’t enough of a positive omen, the word that appeared on the bottom row of his winning puzzle was ‘HEART,'” it continued, alluding to his recent surgery.
—Mass. State Lottery (@MAStateLottery) November 30, 2021
McLeish told The Washington Post he scratched the card with his son and was moved by the result. “I was calm and a little bit in disbelief,” he said. “I just made sure I was breathing through my nose and out my mouth. I didn’t want to test my heart too much.”
He told the publication that, due to holiday closures, he was unable to claim his ticket until the following day.
McLeish said that he plans to give a portion of his prize money to his sons, as well as the childhood friend who gifted him the winning ticket. Beyond paying some bills, he said he doesn’t have many other plans for how to spend the lump sum, noting that he offered to buy his wife a new car but she declined.
The news release said he claimed his winnings at Mass Lottery headquarters in Dorchester, where he chose the cash option for his prize and received a one-time payment of $US650,000 ($AU926,501) before taxes.
It added that this is not the first time McLeish has been lucky — he previously won a $US1 ($AU1),000 prize a few years ago on a ticket purchased by the same friend.
“Everything is moving forward in the right direction,” McLeish told The Washington Post, adding that he is now focusing on his recovery.
Insider was unable to reach Alexander McLeish for comment. The Massachusetts State Lottery did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.