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Lottery winner: Landscaper finds winning ticket while blowing leaves in New York

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It pays to keep someone’s property kept up well – or at least it was for Martin Rosales Martinez of Hicksville on Long Island in New York who found a lottery ticket as he was cleaning out Superstorm Sandy’s remnants with a leaf blower during his landscaping job, according to a CNN report on Saturday.

Rosales Martinez, 27, finally received his $1 million prize last Friday – 14 months after he claimed the winning ticket he had found amongst leaves. The man took the ticket to a 7-Eleven last year but the store was unable to verify it. On Nov. 9, 2012, he took his ticket to the Long Island Customer Service Center in Long Island, and officials confirmed that it was a winning ticket. After that, a standard and thorough internal security investigation took place to make sure that validity and ownership of the ticket was legitimate.

Since there was no report of a ticket being stolen or misplaced, lottery officials found no reason to believe that the ticket wasn’t rightfully the property of Rosales Martinez.

The reason for the one-year delay in paying Rosales Martinez, according to officials, is to see if anyone steps forward to claim the ticket. That did not happen. Rosales Martinez was one of five persons who claimed a New York lottery prize on Friday.

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