Unbelievable Hurricane Sandy Find: A $1M Winning Lottery Ticket

lotteryThe destruction left by Hurricane Sandy was like nothing many New Yorkers and New Jerseyans had ever seen before – and many are still going through the process of rebuilding and repairing.  Although those going through the process of dealing with insurance company claims and governmental assistance programs know how tight money can be, one New York landscaper hit the jackpot while cleaning up debris – a $1 million winning lottery ticket.

“I’ll keep working…”

That’s what Marvin Martinez says he’ll do – even though he likely doesn’t have to.  According to the New York Post, 27-year-old Martinez was helping to clear debris on Long Island a few weeks after Hurricane Sandy hit the eastern seaboard.  He saw a piece of paper in a pile of leaves, picked it up and discovered that it was a lottery ticket.  A winning lottery ticket for one million dollars.  He simply couldn’t believe it.  In fact, he told the Post that, “I still don’t know what made me pick it up.”

Martinez, who lives with his mother in Hicksville and whose home was also severely damaged in the storm, brought the ticket to a local lottery customer service center.  Lottery officials examined it, and after waiting a full year to see if someone claimed it, finally awarded the money to Martinez.  He elected to take a lump-sum payment, which after taxes amounted to $515,612.

The best part?  Martinez got married earlier this year and never told his fiancée about the ticket, as he thought he’d never be awarded the prize.  He plans to keep working six days a week, help his mother complete the home repairs that insurance wouldn’t cover, possibly buy a house of his own and send money to his extended family in El Salvador.  Talk about a happy ending…

Many Hurricane Sandy Homeowners Not As Lucky

Martinez certainly hit an unexpected jackpot and will be able to help his mother fix her home.  However, many Hurricane Sandy victims were not as lucky and are still waiting to be compensated for their losses.  Simply put, they deserve more.

Insurance companies have an obligation to treat policyholders in good faith and to deal with them fairly.  Unfortunately, many do not because they know that the average policyholder feels intimidated taking on a large corporation that likely has a team of attorneys to represent the company’s best interests.  If you are one of those policyholders, you do not need to feel intimidated.  Help is available.

An experienced insurance dispute attorney understands how many insurance companies operate by delaying claims so that homeowners simply get frustrated and take whatever settlement they can get to move on with their lives, denying claims altogether – even when those claims are legitimate – and by offering settlements that don’t even begin to cover the damage being claimed.  All of these can amount to bad faith insurance practices.

Consult with a bad faith insurance lawyer to find out how you can level the playing field and get your claim paid once and for all.  You’d be surprised at how fast that field can be leveled when insurance companies realize that you mean business and have hired a professional advocate who can, and will, take them to court in order to help you obtain what you deserve.