Lightning struck twice for a Long Island man who became a two-time lottery millionaire when he won the top prize on a scratch-off ticket, officials said.
Bruce Magistro, 48, couldn’t believe his eyes when he revealed a third matching symbol on a Win for Life scratch-off game, guaranteeing the father of three the $1 million top prize.
“This is impossible,” the Lindenhurst carpenter recalled thinking. “I started scratching the ticket and I saw one ‘Life’ symbol and then the second and I thought, ‘This is impossible.’ I saw the third ‘Life’ and even I couldn’t believe it.”
It marked the second time Magistro hit it big on a scratch-off game, scoring the top prize for the first time in 2012 when he played the now-retired Extreme Cash game.
“At my last event, Yolanda Vega told me there was always a chance I could win again. I took her words to heart,” Magistro said.
Stunned family chalked up the unlikely second win to a divine power.
“I honestly think it’s my mother calling out for us, helping us,” Magistro’s 17-year-old son, Matthew, told Newsday.
Magistro had won big for the first time just before his late wife’s health took a turn for the worse. Most of the winnings from that jackpot went toward Yvonne Magistro’s lung cancer treatment before she died two years ago, the paper reported.
It has been a struggle to stay ahead of the mounting bills ever since, the family said.
“I’m sure my late wife had something to do with it, looking out for the kids,” Magistro told Newsday. “The money is left to them when I pass away.”
Winners of New York’s Win for Life scratch-off game are guaranteed a minimum payout of $1 million.
Magistro can either opt to receive the guaranteed amount in 20 annual payments and additional annual prize payments thereafter, for life, or he can take a single lump-sum payment of almost $800,000.
Magistro, who is newly engaged, said he plans to share his good fortune with family and “enjoy” life with his fiancée.