Story at a glance

  • McLeish received the get-well card from a close friend while recovering from open-heart surgery.
  • The card included three instant lottery tickets.
  • One turned out to be a $1 million winner.

A Massachusetts man who underwent a double-bypass heart surgery got way more than he expected when one of his childhood friends gave him a get-well card earlier this month during his recovery. 

Alexander McLeish received from a close friend a get-well card that included three instant lottery tickets, including one scratcher that turned out to be a $1 million winner, according to the Massachusetts State Lottery

“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,” McLeish 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?” he said. 


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McLeish reportedly won the jackpot on Thanksgiving day playing the lottery’s “$5,000,000 100X Cashword” instant ticket game. 

As he scratched the “Your Letters” area of the ticket, the first three letters unveiled were A, W and M, which are, coincidentally, his initials. He then noticed that word that appeared on the bottom row of his winning tick was “HEART,” which the Massachusetts lottery called a “positive omen.”

McLeish chose the cash option for his prize and received a one-time payment of $650,000 before taxes. 

He told the Boston Herald he’s not exactly sure what he’ll do with the money, but says he plans to give some to his adult sons and to his friend Larry, who gifted him the lucky ticket.


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Published on Dec 01, 2021