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Syracuse retiree's crossing guard routine leads to big lottery pay day

Syracuse retiree receives big check where he bought winning scratch-off

A Syracuse retiree collected a big check for his NY Lottery scratch-off win.

Yolanda Vega presented an appropriately over-sized check worth at least $1,000,000 to Richard Heath, 77, who won the top prize on a Win $1,000 A Week For Life scratch-off game.

The presentation was held at the Mobil Mart on South Salina Street where the winning ticket was bought. Heath was a regular customer at the convenience store, stopping by each morning to buy $10 worth of the Win For Life tickets before going out to his job as a crossing guard.

"On that day I had a stroke," Heath said, referring to the moment he scratched off the ticket and realized he had won the top prize. Despite that, he went on to do his crossing guard duties as usual that morning before calling his wife of 38 years to share the news.

"I said 'I got three lives,'" Heath said, referring to the symbols on the ticket that indicated he was a winner. His wife Beverly replied, "Okay, I got nine."

Even as he was presented with the big check, Richard said he was still in shock. Richard said he planned to use the money to take care of his kids and grandkids and take care of his bills.

When asked if he would use the money to move to greener pastures, Richard said, "No, no. I love Syracuse." However, Beverly did say the couple will get away, at least temporarily, with a trip to Las Vegas.

Richard opted to take the lump-sum prize, which after taxes will leave him with about $536,000.

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