May 29, 2011, 12:14 am
A self-confessed atheist has become a believer after mocking God by sarcastically praying for his mother to win the lottery.
However, his joke prayer was amazingly answered as the next day his mother won $1 million on the New York Lottery Sweet Million game.
Sal Bentivegna, 28, who did not previously believe in God, had sarcastically asked his mother to "ask your God for a million dollars".
However, his mother Gloria Bentivegna, follows the Catholic faith, and staying true to her belief refused to ask God for such a thing.
Taking his joke further, Sal then prayed out aloud saying, "God, I don't know if you're real or not, but if you are there, please let my mother win a million dollars."
He added, "If Jesus wants me to believe in him, that's what he'll do".
The following day his mother bought a "Lotto Tree" of unscratched instant win tickets from her Church's charity auction. Sal was then left absolutely stunned when he found out his mother had won a million.
Realizing that the odds of his mother winning were so farfetched, Sal has now become a firm believer.
He testified, "I can't shrug off that Jesus had a hand in it."
"No pun intended, but it was a Godsend," he said.
Gloria Bentivegna, reflecting on what had happened, is thankful to God for her winnings, but even more thankful for her son's conversion. She said: "'God performed two miracles, a true miracle."
By winning New York's Sweet Million game, Gloria Bentivegna will now receive $50,000 every year for the next 20 years.
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