Winning the lottery may be just the luck of the draw, but sometimes it goes to a deserving person.

Carmelo Mercado was a New York City firefighter and first responder on 9/11, according to NBC New York. As a result of his work on Sept. 11, Mercado's health began to fail, which forced him into early retirement three years later.

After his sacrifice, he finally received a little luck and won $5 million playing the lottery on Thursday.

Mercado purchased two tickets earlier this year, losing on one but winning a fortune on the other.

"I said, 'Holy mackerel, that looks like $5 million.' My mind went blank. I was in shock," Mercado told reporters.

After taxes, he will take home $3.3 million and already has plans for the money.

Mercado said he wants to take a cruise, purchase a home in Florida, and treat his daughter to an American Girl doll.

He also plans to set some aside for any medical expenses that may arise from his work at Ground Zero. His retirement in 2004 came after doctors told him he had developed a lung ailment.