This 9/11 First Responder Won $5 Million Lottery Jackpot
Carmelo Mercado was an FDNY firefighter who rushed to Ground Zero moments after the second twin tower collapsed and spent two days aiding in search efforts. He had to retire three years after because doctors said that he had developed a lung ailment from responding to Ground Zero. However, the future just got a lot brighter for Mercado when he hit the $5 million jackpot on a scratch off ticket.
Mercado said that he had to do a double take after scratching off the winning ticket.
"I said, 'Holy mackerel, that looks like $5 million'," Mercado said. "My mind went blank. I was in shock."
Mercado will take home a $3.3 million lump sum payment after taxes and plans on taking a cruise and may also buy a house in Florida. He also wants to treat his daughter.
"My daughter asked me, 'Does that mean I can get an American Girl doll?'" Mercado said. "So I told her, 'How 'bout 10?'"
Mercado also said that the money will be able to help with medical expenses that may arise.
H/T NBC New York