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Man wins $1million on scratch-off ticket sent in a get well card

Man wins $1million lottery after friend sent him a scratch-off ticket in a get well card while he recovered from open heart surgery

  • Alexander McLeish had been recovering at home from open heart surgery  
  • A friend sent him a get well card and included three scratch-off tickets
  • One of $5million 100X Cashword tickets contained both his initials ‘A W M’ and also the word ‘heart’
  • McLeish continued scratching to find he had won the $1,000,000 prize
  • It was later revealed the friend had won him a $1,000 prize on a birthday scratch card several years before 


A Massachusetts man recovering from open heart surgery was shocked to win $1,000,000 on a lucky scratch-off ticket he had received in a get well card for Thanksgiving.

Alexander W. McLeish of Attleboro was sent three instant tickets from a childhood friend, identified only as Larry, to wish him a quick return to good health. 

Larry had sent McLeish lottery tickets as a birthday gift in the past, with one of the scratch-offs yielding $1,000 prize. 

As McLeish started to play the Massachusetts State Lottery’s $5,000,000 100X Cashword game tickets on Thanksgiving, the father realized he may have had some good luck.

The first three spots he scratched off in the Your Letters area of the ticket revealed the letters A, W and M, his initials.

Alexander McLeish, from Attleboro, MA, was sent three Cashword game tickets from a childhood friend in a get well card following heart surgery – and ended up winning a $1,000,000 prize. Pictured: McLeish with his prize money

And as if this wasn’t enough of a positive omen, as McLeish went to scratch off his puzzle words he discovered ‘heart’ on the bottom row.

McLeish continued scratching to eventually find he had won the second top prize for the game – $1 million.

‘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,’ he 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?’

As he began to scratch the Your Letters area of the ticket, the first three letters revealed were A, W and M, his initials. And as if this wasn't enough of a positive omen, as McLeish went to scratch off his puzzle words he discovered 'heart' on the bottom row (pictured)

As he began to scratch the Your Letters area of the ticket, the first three letters revealed were A, W and M, his initials. And as if this wasn’t enough of a positive omen, as McLeish went to scratch off his puzzle words he discovered ‘heart’ on the bottom row (pictured)

He decided to wait to tell Larry because it was Thanksgiving.

When Larry asked him how he did on the ‘scratchies,’ McLeish told him he did ‘pretty good’, and was ‘shocked’ to later learn that he had bagged his friend the $1 million prize.

McLeish claimed his prize at Mass Lottery headquarters in Dorchester on Friday and chose the cash option – a one-time payment of $650,000 (before taxes). 

His $1 million winning ticket was purchased at Quickeez Beer, Wine and Convenience Store in Carver. The store will receive a $10,000 bonus for its sale of this ticket.

McLeish added that he plans to give some of the prize money to his adult sons and some to Larry. 

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