Wayne Schenk, 51, who won $1 million in the New York State Lottery shortly after finding out he had terminal cancer, has died.

He died Monday at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Syracuse, N.Y., according to the Baird-Moore Funeral Home.

On Jan. 12, Mr. Schenk won $1 million playing a $5 scratch-off ticket in the New York lottery. Five weeks earlier, he had found out that he had less than a year to live because of inoperable lung cancer.

Mr. Schenk had tried to get the lottery to give him a lump sum so he could enter a hospital that specialized in treating advanced cancer. His prize pays out in $50,000 annual installments over 20 years.

Lottery officials said they were sympathetic but could not break the rules to give him a lump sum. He had received just $34,000 by the time of his death.

Last year, he bought a tavern after decades of working odd jobs in construction, in the highway department, and at a ski resort.

He planned to leave his winnings to his wife, Joan, friend Nick Pascazi said. - AP