U.S. & World

Man wins $1 million from scratch-off ticket, dies weeks later

MASONVILLE, NY (WCMH) -- At the beginning of January, Donald Savastano was one of the luckiest men in New York after he won $1 million on a scratch-off lottery ticket. Weeks later he was dead from cancer.

"This is gonna change our lives, to tell you the truth," Savastano told WBNG earlier this month after finding out he had won the money.

Savastano won the money in New York's Merry Millionaire scratch-off ticket and had said he already had some plans in mind.

"I'm probably going to go get a new truck and I don't know probably go on vacation," Savastano had said.

However, another plan was to seek medical care he couldn't afford before winning the money.

"He was self-employed. He didn't have insurance, he hadn't been feeling good for a while I guess, and when he got the money he went into the doctor," cashier Danielle Scott told WBNG.

The news wasn't good. Savastano was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer.

"He had a friend come and talk to me, and they told me that he was very sick and that he had brain and lung cancer and that he was in the hospital and they didn't think he was gonna make it," said Scott.

On Friday, Savastano died, just 23 days after winning the lottery.

"I was hoping that the money was maybe gonna save his life," said Scott.

Savastano's viewing is scheduled for Tuesday night, with his funeral to follow on Wednesday.


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