Queens Man Plays Madoff’s Jail Number and Wins Lotto

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alg_armendolaroSomeone is finally making some money off Bernie Madoff.
A Queens construction worker used the swindler’s prison number to play the lottery and won $1,500. Ralph Amendolaro, 50, noticed the digits under Madoff’s mug on the front page of the NY Daily News the day after he pleaded guilty – 61727-054. When he stopped at a corner store near his Glendale home on March 13, he played the last three digits in the New York State Lottery’s Numbers game.

“I’m going to be a winner with this guy even though everyone lost money with him,” Amendolaro thought at the time. “Somebody had to get a little lucky with him.”

Although he’s not a regular lottery player, Amendolaro occasionally buys a ticket when a number catches his eye.

The father of three placed a $3 bet for each of the next three days, and that Sunday, 054 came up.

The $1,500 prize is a 16,000% return on his $9 investment – far more than even Madoff promised his bilked investors.

Amendolaro may not have been the only one to find inspiration in Madoff’s incarceration – 501 people played the winning number that Sunday, compared with 120 the day before.

“It’s pretty common when you have a number that hits the public,” said lottery spokeswoman Jennifer Givner. “A lot of people are very superstitious.”

She noted the lottery quickly stopped selling tickets bearing the number of US Airways Flight 1549 after the payout limit was reached.

 

Ralph Amendolaro of Glendale, Queens, scored $1,500 lottery win playing last three digits of Bernie Madoff's prison number.
Ralph Amendolaro of Glendale, Queens, scored $1,500 lottery win playing last three digits of Bernie Madoff's prison number.

“For Madoff, it didn’t come close to that,” she said.

 

As for what Amendolaro plans to do with the money, he says it’s not destined for the stock market. “I’m not going to invest it, put it that way,” he said.

He plans to hand a chunk of the cash over to his wife for a 50th birthday trip to Las Vegas with friends and take his family out for a nice dinner.

“Hopefully it will turn into more money,” he said.

Amendolaro doubted Madoff, who is expected to spend the rest of his days behind bars, would be happy to hear someone cashed in on the $65 billion scam.

“He’ll probably look to charge me on the investment that I made off of him,” he said.

“He’ll probably want a cut.”

{NY Daily News/Matzav.com Newscenter}

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