Despite what seasoned lottery "strategists" may claim, playing the lottery is always a matter of luck. But for one Long Island man, obtaining a winning ticket was like something straight out of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: he found a million-dollar ticket while raking leaves in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
27-year-old Marvin Rosales-Martinez, a landscaper who lives in Hicksville, NY, found a wayward winning "Win $1,000 a Week for Life" scratch card in November 2012, while he and a coworker were raking leaves off an LI street. "I still don't know what made me pick it up," he told the Post. "Whoever threw it away probably didn’t realize there was a prize."
Officials spent a year trying to determine whether Rosales-Martinez could lay claim to the ticket, but on Friday he was finally awarded the prize, which racks up to $515,612 after taxes. "It’s a lot of money,” he told the Daily News through an interpreter.
Rosales-Martinez, who is originally from El Salvador, got married earlier this year and plans to use some of the money on a honeymoon. As for the rest of it: “I’m going to help my family, buy a bunch of little gifts and invest some of it," he told the Daily News. Four other New York State residents, three of whom are from New York City, were awarded $1 million lottery prizes this week as well.