Winning the lottery is supposed to be the best thing that can happen to you. Suddenly, it can make all of those problems you have been dealing with vanish. You no longer have to worry about paying for gas, panic about affording groceries, or feel guilty for buying yourself a treat.
For 51-year-old Donald Savastano, winning the lottery meant that his whole life would change. Savastano, a self-employed carpenter was looking forward to putting the $1 million prize from the New York Lottery's "Merry Millionaire" game towards his retirement.
Excited about his future, he planned on treating himself to a few luxuries before using the rest for necessities like a doctor's visit and savings for the future. "I'm probably going to go get a new truck and I don't know probably go on vacation," Savastano said.
He didn't have insurance because he was self-employed, so he had been putting off a visit to the doctor's even though he had been feeling sick. However, when the new millionaire finally made it into the doctor's office, the news wasn't good.
Danielle Scott, a woman who works at the store where he purchased his winning ticket has commented about Savastano's fate. "He was self-employed," said Scott. "He didn't have insurance, he hadn't been feeling good for a while, I guess, and when he got the money he went into the doctor."
The doctor's visit that was supposed to be just the start of his new life, ended up revealing his true fate. "He had a friend come and talk to me, and they told me that he was very sick and that he had brain and lung cancer and that he was in the hospital and they didn't think he was gonna make it," Scott revealed.
Only 23 days after he received his lottery winnings, he passed away from the cancer that had ravaged his body. Scott had been hoping for a miracle, hoping that his luck could strike again, this time helping him survive. "I was hoping that the money was maybe going to save his life," she said after he passed.
His obituary revealed that he grew up on Long Island, New York, and learned the carpentry trade from his father. "Don was thought of as a wonderful and even an angelic person by those who knew him and will be greatly missed but to see him again when time," the obituary says.
While it isn't the lottery winning's fault that he discovered his illness, it's sad knowing that if he had the money even just a few months ago he could have potentially been able to have gotten treatment in time to save his life.