NEW YORK (AP) – Wall Street swindler Bernard Madoff was a lucky charm for one New York construction worker.

Ralph Amendolaro, of Queens, says he saw Madoff’s prison number in the newspaper and had a good feeling, so he played the last three digits in the State Lottery’s Numbers game.

It hit, 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 further sales.

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