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Lottery Winner, Finally Able to Afford Healthcare, Learns He Has Cancer and Dies Within Weeks of Getting $1 Million

Lottery Winner, Finally Able to Afford Healthcare, Learns He Has Cancer and Dies Within Weeks of Getting $1 Million

Andrea Germanos, staff writer

In a tragedy that captures the broken U.S. healthcare system, a New York state man died of cancer weeks after a $1 million lottery win allowed the uninsured man to finally visit the doctor.

The stage 4 cancer diagnosis he was given, Donald Savastano's mother said, "was just too late."

Fifty-one-year old Savastano bought the ticket Dec. 30 at a convenience store in Masonville. On Jan. 8, days after getting a ceremonial check, he received the lump sum of $661,800. He died January 26.


Thanks to the democrats and republicans we have a gruesome capitalist healthcare system that is destroying us. Anybody ready for Socialism?


Jeebus frak.

If Mr. Savastano had lived just a few hundred clicks further north: 1) he could have kept ALL the winnings from the lottery, as Canadian lottery winnings aren’t taxed; 2) he would have been able to enjoy those full winnings for a while, as his cancer would have been caught by a much earlier, no-fee visit to a healthcare facility.


it is disgusting that our lawmakers are fighting over healthcare. we as americans deserve better


I am. I am ready. Lots of people are ready, and for those who cringe at socialism , we already have welfare and medicare.


I never understood why people who win the lottery have to pay a tax on it. Interesting about Canada!
In the USA, we even pay taxes on social security!


He’s a martyr. So, now we have a white man who was a self-employed tradesman who died and left a family behind because he couldn’t afford health care. Make sure everyone in congress and the senate sees his picture and hears his story. Health care for all isn’t about lazy people trying to suck the tit of the gov’t. That much needs to be made absolutely clear!! Military contractors are the true gov’t tit suckers. Lay the blame where the blame is deserved.


As Mossonarock’s post above notes, the US’s biggest socialist program by far is its military–with far less return on investment than either welfare and medicare.


Great ROI for the military industrial complex and its executives and officers.

Not so great for the rest of us.


“I’ll buy a new truck, pay off some debt, and invest for the future.”

Probably quite a few conservatives out there who would say he lived irresponsibly, that he should have planned for the future when he was much younger, like go to college and open an IRA.

Those same people will neglect to mention that the interest on an IRA these days is 0.1%, and when you have college debt to pay off, it’ll be a looooong time before there’s a dime you can put into savings.

But these lotteries, they’re mostly state-run, right? Sure, there was a recent plutocratic tax bill signed (my taxes went up, as predicted.) But can’t states, especially Dem strongholds like NY tax wealthy people more so a lottery isn’t needed to cover expenses (and maybe even so they could insure the poor?)

What about two-tiered, property tax, for the people who insist on living in $800k+ homes, so municipalities can fund education and job training so this sh*^ don’t happen? We have tax brackets for income, why not home value?


Lotteries are near the pinnacle of the greedy system of hyper-financialized capitalism that plagues us. Spread the fucking wealth around.


I wasn’t even looking at that way, but that is a good point.

i play WA Lotto occasionally. i know the odds are bad and the house wins, paying out less than 50% of income as prizes, worse odds than the casinos run by Native American tribes. And i’m not compulsively blowing all my cash on the lottery, just a buck or two each week.

But i also don’t mind my losses funding state government, which is not funding the military-industrial complex, but things like basic services, education, and the comprehensive Medicaid program that is covering my health insurance (i live in a state that did not reject the supplemental Medicaid funding offered under Obamacare, and i currently pay zero co-pay and zero deductible. Got double hernia repair surgery last year with no cost to me.).

Of course some of my “investment” in lottery tickets does fund Uncle Sam, since the lottery winners pay federal tax on their winnings. As will mine when i win! Nothing is completely clean.


It’s high time the US joined the twentieth century, let alone the twenty-first.

Sadly, our politicians, both Dem and Rep, like getting their bribes too much for the good of the people here.




We have socialism too – my husband gets all his care from the VA (for free) + a monthly check + Social Security for both of us. And since the government doesn’t ‘see’ our money as actual, taxable income we don’t have to file income tax or pay property tax.

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So are our elected terrorists – they go to Washington and do NOTHING and earn almost $200k a year + get healthcare for FREE!


Well, I hope you are doing okay. This admin and the right wing in general want to take social security away from retirees!


Sorry. VA care is hardly “for free” and it is only superficial care at best unless you are admitted to an ER with say a heart attack or stroke. Everything else puts you in the appointment line where they hope that you die waiting to see the doctor. I am a 100% service connected veteran and when I demanded care for those very same injuries the VA denied me care, continue to deny me care and have turned me into a “terrorist” by placing false reports in my records that I threatened to harm my doctors. The VA system like Medicare is nothing more than a Managed Death System for the profits of the Medical Industrial Complex (especially health insurance companies). Wolfess please start paying attention to what is going on in the VA and not limit it to just your husband’s experience. Both wings of our corrupt One Party System are busy privatizing the VA in order to turn it into a fully integrated system with Medicare. For the first decade or so I thought the VA System was alright and was actually taking care of me. By the time my injuries and diseases acquired during Vietnam worsened I discovered that the care I needed was not being offered but instead I was being “managed” until my death and they will do almost anything to expedite our deaths and relieve the agency of its contractual obligations with veterans. The entire system today operates to deny care while presenting to the public a facade of actually caring for veterans.

As far as compensation goes it is a very paltry amount even at 100% especially when compared to the illnesses and injuries incurred during involuntary “service” to this country. Most of the treatments we receive from Big Pharma’s/VA’s handbook are given only because they are the cheapest and not the best alternative. Any of us actually are granted the 100% service connection should understand that there are lots of deserving veterans who never receive such a rating.

Compensation rates below 100% are simply not survivable as far as furnishing one’s basic needs because we cannot work because of what our time in government servitude did to us! The difference between 90% and a 100% is over a $1,000 per month and it gets much worse the further down the scale one is. Vietnam finally took me out at the age of 37. I started having the medical evidence to fight the VA but still it took me until I was 65 to be classified as 100%. And then the true perspective of the VA’s free money came crashing through the living room window. They gave me a big award supposedly worth $100,000s and with their sleight of hand took most of it away by deducting every dollar they ever paid me which did not even begin to compensate me for my injuries in the first place. They do not tax our benefits because it cost the powers that be less money to work it that way. As far as property taxes go they are NOT a VA benefit. Where a 100% veteran receives a property tax break that exemption is granted by THE STATES that veterans live in.

Furthermore, you and your husband are both lucky that you could work long enough to build up social security income. Becoming disabled at age 37 I collect a little over $300.00 a month after the mandatory tribute rendered each month to the the Health Insurance Companies that own and operate the corrupt Medicare system.

It is way past time for all of us in this country to quit trying the smell the roses and the coffee and realize that we are all bloated rotting bodies circling the drains of the cesspools of Wall Street’s profits!


Fake News Release

"Since we all live in a Meritocracy Mr. Savastono simply did not deserve to live. If he had deserved to live he would have provided his own health insurance and caught the cancer early enough to a least survive a few more years. Mr. Savastono, in this society/economy was a man without merit who apparently could not provide for himself and/or his family. While we offer our condolences to Mr. Savastono’s family we do not advocate any sort of workable health care system. That is too much like European Socialism.

Joint Press Release from the Chairs of The Democratic and Republican Parties."