By , Emily Leayman
Published December 20, 2015
An American hero touched by tragedy in 9/11 finally found his lucky day.
Carmelo Mercado, 63, a firefighter forced to retire due to health ailments from 9/11, scored $5 million in a New York Lottery jackpot, according to the New York Post.
"I was in shock," he told the Post. "I couldn't believe it, to be honest with you. I didn't sleep for two days after it happened. My mind went totally blank."
Mercado, a former member of the FDNY Battalion 49 in Queens, had rushed to the World Trade Center on 9/11. After working for many hours on the debris at Ground Zero, he succumbed to lung ailments.