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$1 million lotto winner: New York man finds lotto ticket in leaf pile

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A $1 million lotto winner is rich by chance -- a bigger chance than you take when you actually play the lottery. On Dec. 28, CNN reported that Marvin Rosales Martinez, a landscaper, was cleaning up storm debris when he came across the lottery ticket. It was sitting in a pile of leaves and he somehow spotted it. He looked at the ticket and realized that his life was about to change... but he wouldn't get paid for over a year.

The ticket couldn't be verified so Rosales Martinez, 27, didn't get his million right away. A "standard and thorough internal security investigation" had to be conducted after the Long Island Customer Service Center confirmed that the ticket was the real deal.

The $1 million lotto winner claimed his prize on Friday. He was one of five people to claim prizes in the New York lottery on that day. While he knew that he was a lucky man, he likely didn't really feel like a millionaire until he got his check -- and he's really a half-millionaire thanks to taxes, but whatever!

"The recipient opted to receive his jackpot prize as a one-time lump sum payment. He will receive a payment of $779,106, netting him $515,612 after required tax withholdings, according to the release," CNN reported.

The $1 million lotto winner likely won't be retiring but he's got quite the story to tell and some extra cash to throw around if he so chooses.

© Effie Orfanides 2013

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