NEW YORK (AP) – A retired New York City firefighter who responded to the World Trade Center on Sept. 11 has won $5 million on a lottery scratch-off ticket.
Carmelo Mercado was presented with an oversized check Thursday. He bought the winning ticket in May at a Queens store. Mercado was among the members of Queens Battalion 49 who went to the World Trade Center on Sept. 11 2001.
The 63-year-old now lives in Orange County. He gets $3.3 million in a lump-sum payment after taxes are taken out. He says he was “in shock” when he scratched off the Cash X100 ticket and saw he had won.
He says he plans to buy a summer house in Florida and presents for his family with his winnings.
“My daughter asked me, ‘Does that mean I can get an American Girl doll?'” he told NBC New York. “So I told her, ‘How ’bout 10?'”
NBC New York contributed to this report.