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Watertown Daily Times | Casino win brightens flood victim’s future

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PLATTSBURGH — Underwood Estates flood victim Leroy Tyndall has had a change of luck.

The 83-year-old Plattsburgh man, whose mobile home is slated for demolition due to January’s flooding, left Akwesasne Mohawk Casino in Hogansburg on Saturday with a huge win — $186,807.79 from a game of Caribbean Stud Poker.

“I was shaking like a leaf,” he said. “I couldn’t believe it.”

Caribbean Stud is a five-card poker game played against the dealer, rather than other players, with a standard 52-card deck.

On a trip with a friend, Tyndall played the game just as he had many times before.

“It’s not expensive, and you can have a lot of fun,” he said.

Tyndall bet $5 to participate and had the option to throw in an additional dollar for the progressive bet.

The $1 progressive bet entices players, because if, perchance, a player is dealt a high-profile hand — such as four-of-a-kind, a full house or any sort of flush — the progressive bet assures them a larger prize.

Tyndall took the chance and bet the extra dollar.

“I opened my hand up, and I got a royal (flush) — I hit the jackpot,” he said. “I almost passed out.”

The winning hand was a 10, jack, queen, king and ace of spades.

He said he gave the dealer “a nice tip.”

Tyndall has been working since he was 13 years old; now, he’s a greeter at Walmart in Plattsburgh, where he has worked full-time for more than a decade and wants to continue.

“They’re like a second family to me up there,” he said of his co-workers.

But his casino win will let him reduce his hours to part-time and he will retire in the future.

“I thanked the Lord about 400 times; more than that — probably 500 times in the last four days for giving me this,” he said.

“I can retire and take it easy and live once again.”

He plans to use some of the money to take his brother on a cruise, though his initial idea had been to go to Hawaii.

“Fifteen hours in a plane that I don’t even want to be in,” he said.

“That puts that out of the question.”

His home at Underwood Estates, where he lived for 30 years, is one of about 25 that were totaled by the flooding.

“That’s what God wants,” he said of the fate of his house.

He is scheduled to get a new home, paid for with state funding made available to the flood victims.

“I did a lot of work on this place,” Tyndall said, describing his tongue-and-groove wall panels, wood molding and recently remodeled bedroom.

“I sanded every piece by hand and put all the molding up. They’re going to have to destroy it.”

He plans to take out as much of his woodwork as he can before demolition.

“But you can’t take your life out of here,” he said. “That’s the problem.”

Tyndall said he enjoys the company of God and his neighbors, but said his best companion is his cocker spaniel, Miss Daisy.

“You wouldn’t believe this dog,” he said. “She understands every word I say.”

The pup is named after the 1989 film “Driving Miss Daisy,” because Tyndall drove to Lancaster, Pa., to purchase her.

He has donated $20 every month to the Humane Society, despite times of financial hardship.

“I love animals,” he said. “Boy, I’ll tell you what.”

Tyndall said he tries to treat everyone with kindness, recalling a saying his father used to recite to him: “A stranger is a friend you haven’t met yet.”

The community’s response to his big win is reflective of this mindset.

The Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Facebook page posted about Tyndall’s win on Sunday evening, and as of Thursday, the post had since received almost 800 shares, 2,600 likes and more than 400 comments of congratulations.

“I love people,” he said. “I really do.”

The “fork” ratings are based primarily on food quality and preparation, with service and atmosphere factored into the final decision. Reviews are based on one unsolicited, unannounced visit to the restaurant.

Read more http://news.google.com/news/url?sa=t&fd=R&ct2=us&usg=AFQjCNF0aD5dr4n_Z5_X1UtYNXqzzwy2mQ&clid=c3a7d30bb8a4878e06b80cf16b898331&ei=gyXSWuizG5KRhwHY5JeQAQ&url=http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news03/casino-win-brightens-flood-victims-future-20180414

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