The doorman from Avenue U who won the $5 million jackpot died from lung cancer last week.
Richie Randazzo, who had been battling the disease for a year, died on November 14 at age 50. His funeral mass was held at St. Simon & St. Jude Roman Catholic Church in Brooklyn at 11:45am today, according to Cusimano & Russo Funeral Home.
Randazzo spent most of his life opening doors at a posh Park Avenue building until he was catapulted to tabloid fame in 2008 for winning a $10 Set For Life scratch ticket – guaranteeing him $5000 a week for life.
After his win, things got complicated for the Gravesend native. Randazzo, who described himself as “New York’s most eligible bachelor,” said he intended to keep his $40,000 a year gig as a doorman, but he was fired after going on a gambling binge with his 23-year-old Swedish model girlfriend, Sabina Johansson. Their relationship ended shortly afterwards when Johansson was busted for promoting prostitution. One of Randazzo’s dreams was to make a name for himself in reality television, but after his diagnosis, Randazzo chose to spend the rest of his time close to home, reports the New York Post:
…he kept things simple and mostly tooled around Brooklyn, fishing in Sheepshead Bay or passing time with friends at Caffe Caggiano on Avenue U.
Last year, he said he was searching for the love of his life, while also forgoing a risky surgery for lung cancer.
“Things are always going to change. When you’re on a losing streak, you have to start winning,” Randazzo said from his boyhood home in Gravesend, where he lived even after the windfall.
Randazzo’s Legacy.com page was flooded with condolences Sunday. We are sure he will be missed.
Here’s an interview with Randazzo on Fox News shortly after his win: