A man who won $1 million in the New York lottery died weeks after claiming his prize

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  • Donald Savastano, a 51-year-old self-employed carpenter who won a $1 million lottery prize in New York last month, died weeks after claiming his prize.
  • When he claimed his winnings in early January, the Queens native told reporters “This is going to change our lives to tell you the truth.”
  • Among the several things Savastano said he would do, he planned to go to the doctor. A local news report said he had been unable to see a doctor before his big windfall. He soon learned that he had stage four brain and lung cancer, the report said.

A 51-year-old man who won a $1 million lottery prize in New York last month died weeks after claiming the money, WABC reported on Wednesday.

Donald Savastano had been a self-employed carpenter who couldn’t afford to go to the doctor, the report said. During a local news interview on the day he claimed his winnings, Savastano told reporters “This is going to change our lives to tell you the truth.”

Among several things Savastano said he wanted to do – like buying a new truck and possibly going on vacation – he also went to the doctor. According to WABC, Savastano soon learned that he had stage four brain and lung cancer. Daneille Scott, a clerk who worked at the store where Savastano bought the winning ticket told WABC, “He had a friend come and talk to me and they told me that he was very sick,” Scott said. “They didn’t think he was going to make it.”

Savastano died soon after, on January 26.