The Massachusetts State Lottery Commission said Alexander McLeish had open-heart surgery in early November, and received a get-well card from a friend soon after that had three scratch-off tickets inside.
"As he began to scratch the 'Your Letters' area of the ticket, the first three letters revealed were A, W and M, his initials," officials wrote. "As if that wasn’t enough of a positive omen, the word that appeared on the bottom row of his winning puzzle was 'HEART.'"
McLeish ended up winning $1 million from the $20 lottery ticket, which is the second top prize for the lotto's "$5,000,000 100X Cashword" game.
While claiming his prize, he chose the cash option and received a one-time payment of $650,000 before taxes, officials said.
It's not the first time McLeish won a lotto prize on a ticket from that same friend. He said several years ago, he won $1,000 on a ticket he received as a birthday gift.