A landscaper picking up grimy leaves on a Long Island street after Hurricane Sandy stumbled upon a million-dollar winning lottery ticket.
“This was someone else’s luck, but my ticket!” Marvin Martinez, 27, told The Post.
“My co-worker was blowing the leaves and I was collecting them when I saw the ticket hiding between wet leaves,” he said of his November 2012 find in Bayville. “I still don’t know what made me pick it up.”
But he did and saw that all three numbers on the “Win $1,000 a Week for Life” scratch card appeared to be winners.
“Whoever threw it away probably didn’t realize there was a prize,” said Martinez, who still lives with his mother in a Sandy-ravaged home in Hicksville. “I took it home and showed it to my mom but she didn’t believe it.” It was so wet that they could barely read the ticket “so I left it to dry underneath a lamp,” Martinez said.
He tried to verify he had a winning ticket at a New York Lottery customer service center on Long Island — but the lottery office had lost its power because of Sandy.
When it finally reopened, he explained what happened. “They asked me a lot of questions and said they would have to investigate. I forgot about it,” he said.
Three weeks ago, he got a call to meet with Lottery officials because no one else had claimed the ticket — and in this case, “finders keepers” applies.