Alexander McLeish

Alexander McLeish shows off his lottery winnings check.

ATTLEBORO — Alexander McLeish has certainly had a month to remember, and certainly owes his friend a debt of gratitude.

McLeish, who had open heart surgery earlier in November, won $1 million in the Massachusetts State Lottery’s “$5,000,000 100X Cashword” instant ticket game, the lottery announced Monday.

The Attleboro resident received a get well card from a friend with three instant tickets enclosed, including the eventual big winner.

As he began to scratch the “Your Letters” area of the ticket, the first three letters revealed were his initials: A, W and M.

As if that wasn’t enough of a positive omen, the word that appeared on the bottom row of his winning puzzle was “HEART.”

McLeish, who claimed his prize at Mass Lottery headquarters in Dorchester Friday, chose the cash option and received a one-time payment of $650,000 before taxes.

McLeish is lucky to have the friend who gave him the ticket; he said he won a $1,000 prize several years ago on a ticket he received from the same friend as a birthday gift.

His $1 million winning ticket was purchased at Quickeez Beer, Wine and Convenience Store in Carver. The store will receive a $10,000 bonus for the sale.

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