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New York Lottery two-time winner credits late wife for luck

Bruce Magistro accepts a ceremonial check from New

Bruce Magistro accepts a ceremonial check from New York Lottery personality Yolanda Vega on Wednesday, May 11, 2016, during a news conference at Mike's Super Citgo on Sunrise Highway in West Babylon, where Magistro bought the winning ticket. Credit: Newsday / Alejandra Villa

A Lindenhurst man has won his second million dollar lottery jackpot in four years — and he gives all the credit to his late wife.

Bruce Magistro accepted a ceremonial check for nabbing the $1,000 A Week for Life scratch-off Wednesday, exactly two years after the death of his wife, Yvonne.

“It’s amazing,” the winner and father of three said Tuesday. “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.”

Magistro, 48, a home renovator, won his first big check in 2012 for the Extreme Cash prize of $1 million, and most of the winnings went toward his wife’s lung cancer treatment, he said. Since then, his wife passed away and the family finances have been in disarray, with cable cut off and other bills past due.

“This is definitely a gift from her to us,” Magistro’s son, Nick, 21, said at a news conference at the West Babylon gas station where his dad bought the latest winning ticket.

“I usually buy $5, $10 tickets, but I bought twenty dollars’ worth of $2 tickets and the second one I scratched off was a winner,” Bruce Magistro said.

Mike Abizeid, the owner of Mike’s Super Citgo on Sunrise Highway, sold Magistro his second million-dollar ticket about four weeks ago. Abizeid’s brother, Johnny, sold the Lindenhurst dad his first jackpot-winning ticket in 2012 at a Gulf station he was running on Route 109, also in West Babylon.

The brothers, who said they hope Magistro’s luck will rub off on them, were both at the news conference Wednesday.

“He’s a very lucky man,” the Super Citgo owner said. “It’s very good to see him win a second time after everything that happened with his wife.”

Four years ago, Magistro said he planned to use his winnings to pay off his home mortgage and go on a Caribbean vacation. But his luck turned when his wife’s cancer began dictating where the money went and a lot of what the family could do.

Matthew Magistro, 17, a junior at Lindenhurst Academy, said he couldn’t do some things his friends did because he had no money.

Then the other night, while he was in his bedroom, he heard his father scream, “We hit it again!”

“I thought he was joking,” the teenager said.

This time, Magistro, who recently became engaged, says he will use his winnings to pay off his bills and treat his new fiancé and three children to a nice vacation.

But Magistro, who plays the lottery every day, said he has no plans to quit his job or to stop buying scratch-off tickets.

Magistro is the latest in a lucky Lindenhurst hot streak. Since 2011, stores on Montauk Highway in the area have sold several large winners, including a $201.9 million Powerball jackpot split by a group of employees at the Melville Costco.

“Hopefully I win again,” he said. “Third time’s the charm.”

With Ellen Yan

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