A Staten Island, New York, man won millions of dollars, thanks to a bout of insomnia.
Salvatore Gandolfo, 55, of Arden Heights couldn't sleep on April 1, so he got up and bought a scratch-off ticket that won him $7.5 million, he said on Tuesday.
"That night, I was thinking about someone from my past, someone who is no longer here," said Gandolfo, a former NYC Department of Finance worker.
"It was about 3 or 4 in the morning. I couldn't sleep. I woke up and ate breakfast. I put on my clothes, got in my car and drove," Gandolfo said.
The restless retiree hopped out of his Honda and paid $25 for a Silver Spectacular ticket at Richmond Deli & Grocery in Mariners Harbor.
"I scanned it and it said 'big ticket winner.' I thought there was something wrong with the ticket ... It didn't sink in. It didn't register in my mind," he said.
He added, "I was shocked when I realized I had won."
To celebrate, he gave a kid at the store a $20 bill and a second stranger a $40 winning ticket, he said.
Cash can help you sleep better — but Gandolfo still has trouble snoozing sometimes, he said.
He woke up at 2 a.m. on Tuesday because he was thinking about his family, he said.
He opted to take home a lump-sum payout of $4,672,800. He plans to spend his winnings to travel, buy a new Honda and help his family financially.
"I'm a simple man ... the one thing I always wanted was happiness. You can't put a price on happiness, but it makes me happy to help my family," he said.
Other winners announced on Tuesday include Michael Palmer, 29, of Brooklyn, who won $1 million, and a pool 36 co-workers from Bloomberg LP in Manhattan, who also won $1 million.
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