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.

Sporting a red FDNY cap, he collected his check Thursday, declaring his "financial freedom," the New York Daily News reported.

He already receives an annual $91,000 pension from the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, which funds health care for firefighters, cops and others hit by 9/11 ailments. From the jackpot, the father of four children received $3.3 million after taxes.

He plans on paying his growing medical bills, and is considering a cruise, a house near Disney World and toys for his 10-year-old daughter.

He initially bought one lottery ticket but bought another on impulse. That $20 ticket made him $3.3 million richer.

"After 9/11 sometimes you just have to be reckless; you never know," he told the Post.

Emily Leayman is an intern at the Washington Examiner