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Lotto Winner Finds $1 Million Ticket in a Pile of Leaves (or, Example No. 759 of How Life Isn't Fair)

Marvin Rosales Martinez

Well, good for Marvin Rosales-Martinez.

The 27-year-old Long Island resident works as a landscaper and was clearing away storm debris following Hurricane Sandy when he found a "Win $1,000 a Week for Life" lottery ticket in a pile of leaves.

In what is surely a one in a gajillion chance—or the plot of a Will Ferrell movie you'd watch on an airplane and think, "That was cute, but it would never happen in real life."—Martinez won.

"I saw a ticket rolling with a bunch of leaves," Martinez recalled to The N.Y. Daily News. "It was all wet, and I took it home and I dried it. When I found out I had won, I felt very lucky. I felt very happy."

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That was back in October of 2012. After turning in the ticket, the lottery company completed a "standard and thorough internal security investigation," but adopts the informal philosophy of "finders keepers, losers weepers," assuming no one claimed the ticket as lost or stolen.

"In instances such as these, it's standard practice for the lottery to require a one-year waiting period before awarding the prize in case anyone else comes forward," they said in a statement.

Martinze chose a lump sum payment of $779,106. After taxes, that's $515,612.

"It's a lot of money," Martinez says. "I'm going to help my family, buy a bunch of little gifts and invest some of it."

Well, in that case, we actually mean it: Good for you, Martinez! Seems like it happened to a nice enough man.

PHOTOS: Check out some $uper expen$ive gift ideas, celebrity style!

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