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By David K. Li

A south New Jersey man suffered the luckiest break of his life this week.

Earl Livingston, an 87-year-old resident of Blackwood in Camden County, tripped, fell and broke his hip while going to the store to buy a ticket to Tuesday night’s massive Mega Millions draw.

When he got to Jefferson Stratford Hospital in Stratford, he told caregivers where he was going when he fell, so they invited him to join their pool of tickets.

And he wound up being one of 141 players who nearly won the grand prize. One of their tickets drew the first five numbers but missed on the final Mega Ball which could have won them a share of $1.53 billion.

Five numbers were good for $1 million, which will be split evenly, a hospital spokeswoman said Thursday. The seven-digit prize cut into 141 equal portions comes out $7,092 apiece before taxes.

“He told them he was on his way to buy a lottery ticket and he was disappointed that he didn’t get it,” Livingston’s niece Bobbie Mickle told NBC affiliate WCAU. “So they said, ‘Why don’t you go in with us? We’re also buying a lottery ticket.’”

The $1 million ticket was purchased at a QuickFood in Lindenworld.