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N.Y. doorman who won lottery loses battle with cancer

New York LotteryNew York Lottery: N.Y. doorman who won lottery loses battle with cancer
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A Park Avenue doorman who catapulted to fame after winning a $5 million jackpot has lost his battle with cancer.

(See Doorman who won $5 million lottery pot is battling lung cancer, Lottery Post, Aug. 13, 2013.)

Richie Randazzo died Friday, six years after a lucky scratch-off ticket transformed him from porter to folk hero. He was 50.

But the Brooklyn native's family says the moolah never changed him.

"He loved being a neighborhood guy, and that's what he was," said brother Frank Randazzo. "He never thought he was better than anybody because he won the lottery."

In May 2008, Richie Randazzo won a $10 Set for Life lottery ticket — giving him $5,000 a week, or about $41,000 every three months, after taxes. Since then, the cigar-chomping gambler's soap opera dominated city headlines.

Randazzo vowed to keep his $40,000-a-year gig as a doorman for 1021 Park Ave., but was fired two months later.

Back then, The Post reported he was playing hooky in Atlantic City with his 23-year-old Swedish model girlfriend. TV crews followed him as he tried returning to work, but the building locked him out.

Randazzo called himself New York's most eligible bachelor — and didn't hide his love for the ladies.

"If they want to start a reality show called, 'Who Wants to Marry a Scratch-Off Millionaire,' let me know," Randazzo said. "They can call it 'From Rags to Richie.' " 

His whirlwind romance with model Sabina Johansson came to a close shortly after cops busted her for promoting prostitution at a Midtown brothel.

Randazzo, who said he was a drug addict in the 1980s, spent the last six years in early retirement. He jetted to Atlantic City, Puerto Rico and Florida, where his parents live.

But he kept things simple and mostly tooled around Brooklyn, fishing in Sheepshead Bay or passing time with friends at Caffe Caggiano on Avenue U.

Last year, he said he was searching for the love of his life, while also forgoing a risky surgery for lung cancer.

"Things are always going to change. When you're on a losing streak, you have to start winning," Randazzo said from his boyhood home in Gravesend, where he lived even after the windfall.

Frank Randazzo said his brother's fame sometimes overwhelmed his private middle-class family.

But "it didn't change Richard," he said. "He continued to live in the same house where we grew up in Brooklyn. He stayed friends with the same people he grew up with."

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

NY Post, Lottery Post Staff

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22 comments. Last comment 2 years ago by lejardin.
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Happy California
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Posted: November 17, 2014, 12:33 pm - IP Logged

 May Richie Randazzo rest in peace. I am sure that prayers are being offered up for him toward heaven and God.

 He enjoyed his life & fame. God bless Richie !

    helpmewin's avatar - dandy
    u$a
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    Posted: November 17, 2014, 12:44 pm - IP Logged

     May Richie Randazzo rest in peace. I am sure that prayers are being offered up for him toward heaven and God.

     He enjoyed his life & fame. God bless Richie !

    I Agree!

    Let it Snow Snowman

      haymaker's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg
      Egg Harbor twp.south Jersey shore
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      June 29, 2011
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      Posted: November 17, 2014, 2:16 pm - IP Logged

      I remember seeing him on LCML.

      Seemed like a real down to earth guy.

      R.I.P. Richie.

      Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds    -- Charles Mackay  LL.D.

        ThatScaryChick's avatar - x1MqPuM
        Idaho
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        November 21, 2007
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        Posted: November 17, 2014, 2:21 pm - IP Logged

        Rest in peace, Richie. He sounded like he was a great guy till the end.

        "No one remembers the person who almost climbed the mountain, only the person who eventually gets to the top."

          lejardin's avatar - Lottery-014.jpg

          United States
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          November 4, 2011
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          Posted: November 17, 2014, 2:22 pm - IP Logged

          I remember seeing him on LCML.

          Seemed like a real down to earth guy.

          R.I.P. Richie.

          Yea Haymaker you are right he was profiled on the show.  He is probably one of the only ones the win didnt change, he seemed really down to earth and a fun loving guy.  I am sorry to hear of his passing.

            maringoman's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcTbRxpKQmOfcCoUqF2FyqIOAwDo7rg9G-lfJLAALPGWJWwiz19eRw
            Massachusetts
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            Posted: November 17, 2014, 2:22 pm - IP Logged

            I remember reading about it on LP when Richie won. He won and did what's natural for most bachelors, he got himself a blonde Swedish model because he could. Then the haters started pouring out. His message was received loud n clear: You Only Live Once.

            RIP Richie

            That money's gone fo ever

              hearsetrax's avatar - 0118

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              Posted: November 17, 2014, 2:38 pm - IP Logged

              Cheers thar he goes ladies and gentlemen

              one of the genuine article good guys you always hear tale about and rarely get the chance to know

               

              Bless him and may the almighty forgive his naughty moments b4 his lotto win

                Get paid's avatar - Lottery-062.jpg
                texas
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                February 11, 2014
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                Posted: November 17, 2014, 4:24 pm - IP Logged

                Wow I saw this guys story on how the lottery changed my life. Condolences to his family.

                  Artist77's avatar - batman14

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                  Posted: November 17, 2014, 5:49 pm - IP Logged

                  May God celebrate his merry soul forever.

                  J'aime La France.

                    HaveABall's avatar - rocket

                    United States
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                    Posted: November 17, 2014, 6:14 pm - IP Logged

                    Bye Richie Randazzo. 

                    I never read about Richie saving any of his apx. $104K net each year.  Does anybody have any information regarding that?

                    Does anybody know who Richie made his beneficiary(ies)? ... what a position of generosity to end up in! Cheers

                    Having several millions of dollars in my financial accounts means receiving several valuable services each day!

                    Disney

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                      Posted: November 17, 2014, 8:21 pm - IP Logged

                      Yea Haymaker you are right he was profiled on the show.  He is probably one of the only ones the win didnt change, he seemed really down to earth and a fun loving guy.  I am sorry to hear of his passing.

                      Yeah right, I am sure the win didn't change him. I am sure 23 year old Swedish models were throwing themselves

                      at him before the win. Keep believing that.

                        lejardin's avatar - Lottery-014.jpg

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                        Posted: November 17, 2014, 9:19 pm - IP Logged

                        Yeah right, I am sure the win didn't change him. I am sure 23 year old Swedish models were throwing themselves

                        at him before the win. Keep believing that.

                        Oh how foolish of me.  I forgot Richie is the very first man that ever picked up a woman half his age and it was due to the lottery.  Because HE changed.  Got it.

                        Still sorry for his passing.

                          eddessaknight's avatar - nw paladin.jpg
                          LAS VEGAS
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                          November 22, 2006
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                          Posted: November 17, 2014, 9:41 pm - IP Logged

                          R.I.P. Brooklyn's Gravesend neighborhood gambling & rambling good guy w/condolences for family.

                          We'll remember you!

                          Eddessa_Knight

                            noise-gate's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcR91HDs4UJhjxO7cmeMQWZ5lB_FOcMLOGicau4V74R45tDgPWrr
                            Bay Area - California
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                            Posted: November 17, 2014, 9:45 pm - IP Logged

                            BE at Peace Ritchie...

                            “I'm just afraid of having a tombstone that says HERE LIES A PROMISING OLD MAN.”
                              David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest

                            People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it- George Bernard Shaw.