Alexander McLeish, of Attleborough, Massachusetts, underwent the surgery early last month. While that’s never a pleasant experience, he at least had the support of his friends!

While he was recovering over Thanksgiving weekend, a childhood friend named Larry sent him a “get well” card, with a few scratch-offs from the Massachusetts State Lottery inside.

One was the “$5,000,000 100X Cashword” game, a crossword-themed card. Scratching to reveal the letters, he saw his initials — A, W, and M — a coincidence he took to be a good omen.

He continued playing… and soon was stunned to discover he won a $1 million prize! Fittingly enough, the word that won him the jackpot was “HEART.” Alex was stunned by his good luck.

“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,” Alex told the Boston Herald. “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?”

That’s the game’s second-largest conceivable jackpot, according to the Massachusetts Lottery. The probability of winning is 1 in 1,008,000. Alex received his rewards as a one-time cash payout of $650,000, before taxes, according to the lottery’s website.

This isn’t the first time this has happened: Larry handed him a scratch-off for his 60th birthday a few years ago, and Alex won $1,000. (Both fortunate scratch-off tickets were purchased at Carver’s Quickeez Beer, Wine, and Convenience Store.) The lottery pays the business a bonus if it sells a winning ticket.)

But this time Alex has won a real jackpot, and he’s decided to spread the wealth: he says he will give part of his winnings to his sons — and some to Larry, who is clearly his good luck charm.

Alex told the Herald that he had already booked an upcoming trip to the Bahamas, but it will “be a little bit more enhanced” thanks to his winnings. What a remarkable coincidence. It’s a story that shows that amazing things can happen when you least expect them — but the real moral of the story is, always let Larry choose your lottery tickets!

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By Lilit

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