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Lottery Winners John Cimino, Donald Gilbert Pledge To Help Hurricane Sandy Victims

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Garden City Park resident Philip Cimino with a copy of his winning Mega Millions ticket at a check presentation ceremony in Garden City on Nov. 29, 2012. He pledged to use some of the funds to help Sandy victims. | Geoffrey Walter, New Hyde Park Patch

They didn’t take home the Powerball $587.5 million prize, but two New York lottery winners who survived Hurricane Sandy are still going to make some hard-pressed hurricane victims feel pretty rich.

John Cimino, 67, won the $33 million jackpot in the Nov. 2 Mega Millions drawing and Donald Gilbert got the $1 million second-place prize in the Powerball Wednesday. Both lucky gamblers have vowed to use some of their newfound dough to help Sandy victims struggling to rebuild, the New York Post reports.

“I’m thinking about that very much now," Cimino said at a press conference about his intention to donate, according to New Hyde Park Patch. "I don’t have a figure yet, but I’m just thinking about it, giving.”

It’s not surprising that both winners have pledged to help those reeling from the superstorm, considering both men live in hard-hit areas.

Gilbert, who lives in Staten Island, told the New York Post that he’s dealing with some tree and sidewalk damage near his home. Cimino, a Long Island resident, briefly lost power during the storm, according to the New York Daily News.

“That’s very good luck,” Cimino told the news outlet of the minimal storm destruction he suffered.

Cimino and Gilbert's donations to Sandy victims will help to fulfill the wishes of many storm survivors; according to the Associated Press, leading up to the drawing, Sandy victims bought up Powerball tickets in hopes of using the funds to help rebuild their ravaged homes and their communities.

"Help everybody, give to charities and the church," Ruben Seda, 74, a New Jersey resident, told the AP of how he would spend his winnings if he got lucky. "I lost everything, my furniture, my food ... but I survive. So, if I hit some money, it'd be a big help."

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