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Alexander McLeish, who was given lottery ticket in get-well card after open-heart surgery, wins $1m

A Massachusetts man won $1m (£750,500) from a lottery ticket he received in a get-well-soon card while recovering from an open-heart surgery.

Alexander McLeish, a resident of the state’s Attleboro city, received three crossword scratch-off tickets of the “$5,000,000 100X Cashword” lottery from a friend on Thanksgiving day before a major surgery, according to the winner’s account shared by the Massachusetts state lottery website.

What he and his friend did not know was that one of the cards would clinch him the second prize worth $1m.

“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,” Mr McLeish told the Boston Herald in an interview. “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?”

His friend Larry had bought the tickets from the Quickeez Beer, Wine and Convenience store, which received a $10,000 (£7,505) bonus for selling the ticket, the state lottery said.

The first “positive omen”, as per the state lottery, that Mr McLeish received was when he scratched his initials A, W and M on the crossword puzzle-style ticket.

After continuing to scratch through it, another surprising “omen” flashed in front of him: the first word he found on the crossword was “heart”.

The state lottery made a pun out of Mr McLeish’s second “omen” to reveal the incredible win in a tweet on Wednesday.

Mr McLeish found a total of 11 words from that scratch card that won him the second-largest prize, the state lottery said.

While this has been a series of good surprises for Mr McLeish, he has been this lucky before as well. He had won a $1,000 (£751) prize from a previous lottery ticket many years ago on his 60th birthday.

That ticket was given to him by his same friend, Larry, and was bought from the same store.

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