Madoff's prison number hits lottery

March 25, 2009 5:14:15 AM PDT
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.

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.

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