Man Dies Three Weeks After Winning Lottery

by : UNILAD on : 29 Jan 2018 18:59
New York State Lottery

A man who won $1 million playing the lottery died suddenly just three weeks after his win.


Donald Savastano won the Merry Millionaire scratch off lottery, earlier this month.

According to reports, Mr Savastano was ‘recently diagnosed with stage four cancer’ and passed away ‘suddenly’, on Friday (January 26).


The Queens, New York, native had claimed his ticket on January 4 after buying the $10 scratch off card.


Mr Savastano, a 51-year-old self-employed carpenter told WBNG.com at the time:

Being a self-employed carpenter, I didn’t really have a plan for retirement.

The money will help with that. I don’t have any other extravagant plans. I’ll buy a new truck, pay off some debt and invest for the future.

Mr Savastano grew up on Long Island and learned the carpenter trade from his dad, according to an obituary published on Sunday by Lester R. Grummons Funeral Home in Oneonta.

According to reports, Mr Savastano had been living in Sidney, New York, for the past 10 years with girlfriend, Julie Wheeler and her two sons.

Mr Savastano is survived by his mother, two sisters and four brothers.

The obituary included a special thanks to Bassett Hospital and Tri-Town ER for taking care of Mr Savastano in his last days.

It also mentioned he’d been in hospice care for a few days, before passing.


The funeral home is reported to be having ‘calling hours’ on Tuesday, January 30, from 6pm until 8pm.

His family have asked for any donations to be made to the American Cancer Society. 


At the end of last year, a Canadian woman with advanced breast cancer won the lottery, just weeks before finding out she was responding well to treatment.

Diane Bishop, from Mount Pearl, Newfoundland, won the C$1.5m (£886,000) Super Set For Life jackpot on the Atlantic Lottery.

Yet Bishop, who has Stage 4 breast cancer, has hit the jackpot twice now, finally responding to treatment after several failed attempts.


Diane told CBC News:

This money wasn’t about going out and buying a new house or taking trips, this was about survival. I can survive now, and my kids can survive.

It’s like this big ball of weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

The stress is gone, the anxiety of being sick, I know I can’t beat Stage 4 because you’re a ticking time bomb, but it’s given me hope that maybe it can go dormant for a while … and I can live my life.

Bishop had been working as a manger at a local convenience store, but with the cancer spreading to her pelvic bone, her shifts were becoming increasingly bad for her health.

However, until now, Bishop was concerned she would need to continue working, as government support would amount to just over $1,100 (£650) a month, barely enough to cover her mortgate.


After purchasing the $20 (£12) lottery ticket, everything changed for Diane and now, her ‘financial troubles are gone’ and she can focus on her health.

After learning of her lottery win, Bishop’s first purchase was a therapeutic, adjustable mattress to help ease her aches and pains.

Her second purchase was a comfortable electric chair for watching television while recovering from chemotherapy treatments.

She’s also now able to guarantee financial stability for her two sons, Jordan and Shane Parsons, who are both in their twenties.


Bishop knows Stage 4 cancer is incurable, but she’s content with whatever the future holds, adding: ‘I got everything I wished for’.

The brave woman concluded: ‘I can go happy, but I’m just not going yet.’

Topics: Life


WBNG.com and 1 other
  1. WBNG.com

    Sidney man wins $1M from scratch-off ticket

  2. CBC News

    Double win: Cancer patient collects lottery jackpot and responds to chemo