This elderly man found the best way to celebrate the news that his wife is completely healthy - by winning $1 million.
Watching the one you love suffer from a life-threatening disease like cancer can take a toll on you as well but watching them beat it can fill you up with an indescribable joy. So when this 85-year-old pensioner stood by his wife as she beat it just in time for Christmas, he was ecstatic. But what he didn't know was that he was about to win the jackpot, quite literally, and Sky News shares it all.
On Friday, 21st December 2018, Harold McDowell, retired public works director, was told that his wife was free from cancer. After she underwent multiple surgeries for liver cancer and staying in the hospital for colon cancer, this news was cause for celebration. But that was not all. Exactly a day later, his hand at a three-card poker game won him a staggering $1 million (£790,000).
Hailing from Lakewood, New Jersey, Harold visited the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in the state, with his wife. He placed a bet of just $5 and managed to hit a six-card royal straight flush of diamonds. For those who may not be familiar with the game, is a huge deal. Sky News states that Harold had a hand of 10, a queen, and the ace of diamonds while the dealer had a nine, a jack and the king of diamonds. Looks like this Six-Card Bonus in Three Card Poker was the icing on the cake after his wife became cancer-free.
With this hand, he beat odds of 20 million-to-one during this game and lucked out with that mind-numbing seven-digit amount. "I happened to be playing next to my wife. I had my back to her. I turned around said, 'I just won a million dollars,'" he said. "She told me, 'You’re full of crap.'" Of course, that sentiment didn't last very long when it sunk in what Harold had actually won. “I was dumbfounded,” he said. “I sat there like an idiot.”
With regards to the good news coming one after the other, Harold told the New York Post, “It must be luck of the Irish. They’re both great news.” Continuing, he said, “It was better news that she’s healthy — money isn’t the most important thing." He also did mention that the casino took a fair share of the taxes after his huge win, around $200,000.
When asked what he would be doing with his winnings, he said he planned to give most of it to his children. "Our lives will probably stay pretty much the same. But it might get better for our children," he said. "Maybe we’ll take a cruise."
In a Facebook post, the Borgata Hotel Casino said that they had someone check the odds of such a win. They explained, ”This is the first time this bet has hit at Borgata, and experts at wizardofodds.com confirm that the odds of hitting the 6 card Bonus are 1 in 20,348,320.”
Of course, social media users took to the platform to share their thoughts on this special event.
One Facebook user commented, "He deserves it. Someone said it’s your lucky day. He said No, Yesterday was my Luckiest day- my wife was declared Cancer Free !!! And he was very generous to the dealers. Classy Guy !!"
Another user posted, "Way to go!!!! When it’s your time it’s your time! Now that’s a nice Christmas 🎄. Congratulations."
One other person said, "God Bless him and his wife!!! Stay healthy and enjoy it. Merry Christmas!🎁"
For Harold and his family, congratulations on being healthy and enjoy your winnings. After all, you deserved it.