Lottery Winner Succumbs to Cancer
New York Lottery: Lottery Winner Succumbs to Cancer
A man who won $1 million in the lottery shortly after finding out he had terminal cancer has died.
Wayne Schenk died Monday at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Syracuse, according to the Baird-Moore Funeral Home. He was 51.
"He is in a better place now. He was starting to suffer, and we didn't want that," friend Nick Pascazi told The Daily Messenger of Canandaigua.
On Jan. 12, Schenk won $1 million playing a $5 scratch-off ticket in the New York State Lottery's High Stakes Blackjack. Five weeks earlier, he had found out that he had less than a year to live because of inoperable lung cancer.
Schenk had tried to get the lottery to give him a lump sum so he could enter a hospital that specialized in treating advanced cancer. His prize pays out in $50,000 annual installments over 20 years.
Lottery officials said they were sympathetic but couldn't break the rules to give him a lump sum. He had received just $34,000 of his win by the time of his death.
In an interview with The Associated Press in January, Schenk said he was trying to take each day in stride.
"I haven't given up, but it's getting right down there where time is of the essence," he said. "There's only one way to go, and that's up. I've already been down."
Schenk was a lifelong smoker whose parents died of lung cancer in the 1990s. He served on a troop ship off Lebanon during a stint in the Army from 1976 to 1980. Last year, he bought a tavern after decades of working odd jobs in construction, in the highway department and at a ski resort.
On April 4, Mr. Schenk married his longtime partner, Joan DeClerck, who was with him when he died. About 15 people attended the small wedding, he said.
Pascazi said Schenk made plans to leave his winnings to Joan.
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9 comments. Last comment 10 years ago by .
Hard Luck, Ak
October 13, 2005
|Posted: April 25, 2007, 3:12 am - IP Logged|
Wow, he only made it to 51, My father passed away from cancer after working for 43 years and less than 1 year after he retired. I guess no one ever really knows when your time is up. At least he could afford the best treatment available.
February 12, 2007
|Posted: April 25, 2007, 8:10 am - IP Logged|
My sympathy goes out to his family and friends. But the lesson to be learned here doesn't have anything to do with the lottery in general or the NY lottery in particular...rather the lesson to be learned here is..."JUST SAY NO TO SMOKING!!!" Sure we all are going to die one day, but what sense does it make to do something that is obviously going to LIMIT and REDUCE the amount of time you will live? There have been medical studies that flip flopped on the risks/benefits of certain foods, but all medical studies have consistently and undoubtedly found that tobacco use is bad for the human body as it contains nicotene, arsenic, formalydahyde, and a host of other carcinogens...in laymans terms, things that cause CANCER. So a person will never have a problem quitting smoking if they never start in the first place. For those who are already dedicated, die-hard smoking fans, seek medical help now in the form of smoking cessation programs. Channel money that you would have spent on smokes to buying lottery tickets or whatever floats your boat. Just don't buy anymore smokes or bum any off anyone else (now this is a great principle to practice for the day that you win the lottery...since you weren't in the habit of free loading smokes off your friends and total strangers, you won't feel pressured to share your winnings with the same). But if you choose to continue to smoke...you have Mr. Schenk's example to look forward to. Oh and please spare me the stories of your grandpa, uncle or whoever who smoked cigars, cigarettes all their lives and who also worked in a coal mine, asbestos plant, steel mill, etc and lived to be 80+ years old. Sure, that may be the case for a few people (actually my grandfather would be in that story), but I can tell you that the quality of life in the last few years really suck when a person can only breath with the assistance of oxygen tanks, gasping for breath, body racked with the pain of cancer.
Get MONEY!!! Winning a JACKPOT lottery is all the HOPE and CHANGE I desire!!! NOW give me MONEY!
The guy who won the presidency in 2008 really won the lottery...he is now millions richer, travels in first class style, and even has a staff that would be the envy of the richest Powerball winner (she has a staff of 2). Every night he goes to sleep, he probably plays the close of Dave Chappelle's Show: I'm rich beyatch!
October 30, 2003
|Posted: April 25, 2007, 9:03 am - IP Logged|
I have a neighbor that smokes 4 packs a day.
He literally lights a new one from the old one. He is 55 and I'm pretty confident he will never see 60.
Hell, I might not see 60, but I'm not trying to hurry it up !
November 5, 2005
|Posted: April 26, 2007, 1:43 am - IP Logged|
I have a neighbor like DoubleDown's who never stops smoking. 3 years ago a small spot was found on his lungs during a routine exam. He began chemotherapy and radiation. Then he'd arrive home and light up. He just finished another round of chemo and I just can't figure it out. I know I sound selfish, but the government is picking up the tab and I don't understand why they keep treating him.
One day he's going to blow himself up because he smokes so much and uses oxygen.
Now he has something implanted in his chest to aid in the chemo delivery. He was showing it to me as he lit up.
August 14, 2005
|Posted: April 26, 2007, 5:19 am - IP Logged|
This really shows how addictive tobacco is. Even after being given a death sentence the person cannot give up the thing that is killing him.
March 9th I quit smoking after 41 years. I think I know how he feels. Why give them up now? It's too late to make a difference and he doesn't want to take on the added stress of quitting.
Deep down all smokers want to quit. They just haven't found the reason to. You can yell, cajole, argue, warn, threaten and plead but your just waisting your time and theirs because it will not happen until they find the motivation.
December 30, 2002
|Posted: April 26, 2007, 9:40 pm - IP Logged|
If you are in good health, enjoy every day. If you win and are in good health, the days should be even better. No one knows how much time they have left, I've found out painfully several times over the past 6 years.
April 27, 2007
|Posted: April 27, 2007, 7:46 am - IP Logged|
No one knows how much time they have left
November 5, 2005
|Posted: April 27, 2007, 8:32 pm - IP Logged|
No one knows how much time they have left
True. The very tragic stories about the students at VT this week reminds us of how fragile life can be. So many candles burning bright snuffed out within seconds by a senseless act.
January 23, 2005
|Posted: April 27, 2007, 9:10 pm - IP Logged|
The way to stop smoking is to never start. Maybe he went into that particular store at that time directly or indirectly because of his smoking habit. I don't know how people start, it must take a great effort to suck IN clouds of smoke when normally the urge is to fan them away. I went through this with family members and have gotten my gf to quit. It's a shame that no one could offer to buy his annuity, that is give him a lump sum (present value minus a commission) in exchange for the payments. Yes there are other things that can happen but why boost the odds?