A Lindenhurst man got a lucky strike when he became a two-time, $1 million scratch-off lottery winner.
Bruce Magistro will accept a ceremonial check for nabbing the $1,000 Week for Life scratch-off — a guaranteed $1 million — four years after he got a big check for the Extreme Cash prize of $1 million.
His son, Matthew, 17, said he believes his mother Yvonne made it happen — from Heaven.
“I honestly think it’s my mother calling out for us, helping us,” the younger Magistro said.
Most of the winnings from the first jackpot went toward her lung cancer treatment before she died two years ago, her son said, and since then, the family finances have been in disarray, with cable cut off and payments on bills falling behind.
“Very shocked,” Bruce Magistro said of his surprising win. “I won twice. . . . It was a miracle. It came at the right time. I want to pay off my house and all the bills I owe.”
He said the first jackpot allowed him to stay home with his wife and enjoy their time together before she passed away two years ago Wednesday — the day he’ll receive his ceremonial check.
“It’s amazing,” the winner said. “I’m sure my late wife had something to do with it, looking out for the kids. The money is left to them when I pass away.”
Since news of the second lucky scratch off has spread, the son said, some people have told them the money was going to a deserving family and others have jokingly asked for a piece of the pie.
State lottery officials said the winning ticket was purchased at Mike’s Super Citgo, Sunrise Highway, West Babylon.
“He’s a lucky guy, I guess,” said station owner Mike Abizeid, who believes the man bought his earlier winning ticket at a Gulf station that Abizeid’s brother was running on Route 109, also in West Babylon.
Abizeid said he got word of the $1 million win from state lottery officials, not from the lucky guy himself. That would be in keeping with behavior of other winners, who’ve scratched tickets in the store and realized they’ve won but don’t necessarily whoop it up there and then.
Possibly to let the realization sink in, they “walk out very slowly,” he said. “Nice and quiet.”
Magistro, 48, father of three and a home renovator, had expected four years ago to use his winnings to pay off his home mortgage and go on a Caribbean vacation.
But life turned unlucky when his wife’s cancer began dictating where the money went and a lot of what the family could do.
Matthew Magistro said he turned down friends’ invites because he had no money.
Then one night, while he was in his bedroom, he heard his father scream, “We hit it again!”
“I thought he was joking,” the teenager said.
Matthew Magistro, who expects to graduate next year from Lindenhurst Academy, said he realized more than ever that money wasn’t everything. He wants to be a pastry chef or veterinary technician and hopes some of the winnings will beef up whatever he can earn to go to college.
“I don’t want to go crazy with the money,” the winner’s still-stunned son said Tuesday night. “Material things — I’m not really expecting that. I just mostly want the bills and everything for my house to be paid off.”