NEW YORK – Wall Street swindler Bernard Madoff is a lucky charm for one New York City construction worker.
Queens resident Ralph Amendolaro says he saw Madoff's prison number in a newspaper and had a good feeling so he played the last three digits of it in the state lottery's Numbers game.
It hit March 15, paying $1,500.
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Lottery officials say other people had the same idea. The number combination 0-5-4 produced 501 winning tickets the Sunday after Madoff's guilty plea, up from 120 winners the previous day.
Madoff's prison registration number is 61727-054.
A lottery spokeswoman says people often play numbers they see on the news.
So many people played the flight number of a jet that landed safely in the Hudson River that the lottery had to halt sales.