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New Yorker Marvin Rosales Martinez, 27, got the surprise of a lifetime when he found a $1 million winning scratch off ticket within debris from Hurricane Sandy last year. He has finally claimed his earnings as of Friday.
The landscaper was cleaning storm debris with a leaf blower in October of 2012 when he stumbled upon a Win $1,000 a Week for Life scratch off ticket. When he discovered it was a winning ticket of $1 million, he took it to the Long Island Customer Service Center in November of last year but they couldn’t verify it was a winner.
CNN reports they did a "standard and thorough internal security investigation" of the ticket and the Hicksville, Long Island resident finally collected the winnings on Friday. He got $515,612 after taxes were taken out.
"In instances such as these, it's standard practice for the lottery to require a one-year waiting period before awarding the prize in case anyone else comes forward,” said lottery spokesman, Lee Park.
Rosales Martinez told the New York Post about his luck, “This was someone else’s luck, but my ticket!” He said when he found the ticket within the leaves, it was so wet he had to let it dry underneath a lamp.