Carmelo Mercado, an FDNY retiree who was one of the first responders on Sept. 11th, collected his $5 million lottery winnings on Thursday, the New York Lottery said.
Mercado, 63, a former member of the FDNY's Queens Battalion 49 in Astoria, bought the scratch-off at the Jolly 100 on Queens Boulevard on May 12. He collected his $3.3 million lump sum on Thursday.
"I have so many plans for the money," Mercardo said. "I was in shock when I won. It's a blessing."
Mercado said his daughter "already wants 10 American Girl dolls," and he said he wants to buy a vacation home near Disney World.
Mercado said the first ticket he bought did not have any winners, and he bought the next ticket in the pack because it had his birth year backwards. That ticket won him $5 million.
Mercado, a 27-year veteran of the FDNY, retired in 2004 after his doctors told him he developed a lung condition from responding to Ground Zero, according to NBC New York.