NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) —A man who won $1 million in the New York Lottery for a second time remembers thinking: “This is impossible.”
As CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported, it was a bit of deja vu for lottery spokeswoman Yolanda Vega. In 2012 she stood with Bruce Magistro when he scored $1-million on a scratch off ticket.
Then, just a few weeks ago the construction worker struck lottery gold a second time inside a West Babylon convenience store.
Maigstro told 1010 WINS that he spent $20 on 10 scratch-off tickets on the day of the drawing.
“It was actually the first ticket that he gave me that I won the Win For Life on,” Maigstro told 1010 WINS.
The Lindenhurst resident says when he realized he’d won again, “even I couldn’t believe it.”
The 48-year-old carpenter says during his 2012 check ceremony, Vega told him there was “always a chance” he could win again.
Repeat winners are rare, but not unheard of, in New York and other places.
The widower says he plans to share his good fortune with his family and “enjoy life” with his new fiance.
Magistro’s wife died two years ago Wednesday from cancer.
“A lot of medical bills. He couldn’t work for three years taking care of her. He had to do the right thing with the money the first time, now he gets to enjoy it the second time,” Magistro’s son Nick Mayers said.
The family’s stunning good luck had other customers scratching their heads about the odds of winning a million dollar scratchoff twice.
“That’s amazing, unbelievable. I guess lightning does strike twice,” Michelle Scaringi said.
A business school professor told CBS2’s Aiello that normally the chances of winning this big are just 1 in 2-billion, but not always.
“If you won once, you might think, ‘hey I’m lucky, this might happen to me again,’ so then you start playing more and the likelihood of winning again actually increases,” Professor Kristin Lee Sotak, Farmingdale State College Business School explained.
Seven tickets from Saturday night’s drawing matched five numbers and claimed $1 million, including three in New York, two in Illinois and one apiece in California and Virginia.
Magistro admitted he spends as much as $200 a day and more than $1,000 weekly on scratchoffs. Despite the long odds of repeating again, he and his new fiance Deborah Ward plan to keep on scratching.
The sole winner of the recent $429.6 million Powerball jackpot has yet to come forward to claim the prize, as the New Jersey store that sold the winning ticket celebrates.
The jackpot is the sixth-largest in Powerball jackpot history, and the largest single jackpot winning ticket sold in New Jersey.
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