Alexander McLeish has won a $1 million prize in the Massachusetts State Lottery’s ‘Cashword’ instant ticket game—and the word that won him the scratch-off jackpot was a ‘heartfelt’ coincidence, to say the least.
The Attleborough man who had just gone through open heart surgery earlier this month, received a get well card from a friend with three instant tickets enclosed.
The friend went out of his way to buy the scratch-off at the same store where he purchased another lottery ticket as a birthday gift for Alexander years earlier that won him $1,000. This time, the prize was one thousand times bigger, and the details of the win were a thousand times spookier.
As Alexander began to scratch the “Your Letters” area of the ticket, the first three letters revealed were A, W and M—his exact initials.
As if that weren’t enough of a positive omen, the word that appeared on the bottom row of his winning puzzle, which clinched him the jackpot, was “HEART.”
With his son by his side, he tried to stay calm so as not to over-excite his overjoyed heart.
McLeish claimed his prize at Mass Lottery headquarters in Dorchester on Friday, November 26.
McLeish told reporters he intends to give his longtime friend of over 50 years who bought the ticket, a little bit of the prize money—in addition to sharing with his two adult sons.
“He offered to buy his wife a new car, but she declined,” reports the Washington Post. “Other than paying off some bills, McLeish said he hasn’t made many other plans with his new riches.”
It was fitting that he scratched off the “HEART” on Thanksgiving, with a new lease on life, and family around to share the excitement.