A New York man who hit the jackpot on lottery with a $1 million (£700,000) scratch-off ticket three weeks ago died suddenly Friday, succumbing to stage four cancer, according to multiple reports.
Donald Savastano, 51, passed away from an unspecified form of cancer. He had recently been diagnosed.
His death came less than a month after he became a millionaire after picking a winning New York Lottery scratch card at a shop in his home town of Sidney, a small community around 170 miles north of New York City.
He told the WBNG-TV news channel that he was planning to “buy a new truck, pay off some debt and invest for the future,” with his winnings.
He added: “This is going to change our lives to tell you the truth”.
Danielle Scott, the cashier who sold him the ticket, said: “He scanned it on the machine here, um and then he came over, said that he had won a million dollars and had me look at it, and yeah he was excited”.
Ms Scott said a friend of his came and told her that Mr. Savastano was very ill in hospital.
She said:”He was self employed, he didn’t have insurance and he hadn’t been feeling good for a while I guess, and when he got the money he went to the doctor”.
“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 going to make it.
She added: “I just wish he had more time with it.”
Born in Queens, New York Savastano grew up on Long Island and became a carpenter after working with his father as a child.
His obituary said that he worked for commercial companies and then after moving to Sidney managed to carve out a successful career as a self-employed carpenter.
“He was known for his high-quality work and perfectionism,” reads the obit. “He always tried to reach out and help those he could by teaching them ‘the right way to do things’”.
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