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Tony Auriemma, Long Island Plumber Who Helped Sandy Victims, Wins $1 Million Lottery Jackpot

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In what appears to be a nice blend of karma and luck, a Long Island man who has helped numerous Hurricane Sandy victims won $1 million on a New York Lottery scratch-off ticket, NBC New York reports.

Tony Auriemma, of Greenlawn, N.Y., would have been on an annual hunting trip on Nov. 18, the day he purchased the Color of Money lotto ticket, NBC noted, but he had too many service calls because of the hurricane.

Auriemma said he won't be quitting his job as a plumber. Although he has worked 12-hour days, seven days a week, to replace storm-ruined boilers, more customers are in need. "To see the smiles on their faces when I give them hot water and heat, it's like they won the million dollars," Auriemma told NBC.

ABC News reports another case of lottery payback for a job well done in Sandy's aftermath. Water-removal expert John Turner, who drove from Chicago to New Jersey to help out, even servicing some homes for free, bought a scratch-off ticket worth $100,000 on his last day in the Sandy-slammed state.

Neither lottery prize comes close to the Wednesday $587.5 Powerball fortune that Missouri couple Cindy and Mark Hill are splitting with another winner in Arizona, but welcomed nonetheless.

Auriemma and his wife, Jennifer, said they will split the $1 million prize with Jennifer's mother, NBC reports. Each party will receive $16,000 a year for 20 years.

Turner, whose payout came to $70,000 after taxes, also planned to share his windfall. "A portion of it, we're going to donate it to someone or some family that's in need," he told ABC.

Two other recent lottery winners pledged to use their funds specifically to help Hurricane Sandy victims. John Cimino, of Long Island, and Donald Gilbert, of Staten Island, were doubly lucky to escape extensive damage due to the hurricane, and then to hit the Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots days later. Both men said they were looking forward to helping out less fortunate Sandy survivors.

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