Through a happy twist of fate, a veteran member of Disabled American Veterans (DAV) randomly won a new car from the same company that donates trucks to the DAV every year. As the familiar adage goes, it’s a small world.

Eugene Sempek was a U.S. Navy gunner’s mate 3rd class on the USS Windham County, and served from 1957 to 1961 in the Belgian Congo, the Panama Canal and Japan. Now retired from the military, Sempek regularly plays the Truck$ and Buck$ Scratch game hosted by the Nebraska Lottery. Thinking little of his lottery ritual, he brought another $2 ticket home, rubbed away the ink coating, and won a brand new Ford F-150.

The surprise caused Sempek to cry out with joy. “I can’t tell you what I said. It was a cuss word,” Sempek joked. “My wife called out, ‘What did you break? Did you spill something?’”

The Ford F-150 has been the bestselling vehicle in the United States for the past 32 years and the most popular pickup truck for 43 years. Known for its power, easy handling and enviable fuel economy, the vehicle had already caught Sempek’s eye long before he bought the lottery ticket. In a stunning coincidence, he often sees Ford vehicles at his local DAV office.

The DAV, the longest-lasting veterans advocacy group in the country, aims to empower veterans and give them access to all the benefits available to them. Its relationship with Ford dates back to 1922 when Henry Ford himself donated 50 Model Ts to transport wounded World War I veterans to the hospital free of charge. Just shy of a century later, Ford continues to provide vehicles for the DAV and its membership through its Military Appreciation Program.

“Ford donated a Flex van to the Omaha VA Hospital in August 2015,” Sempek said. “It’s green, with both the Ford and DAV logos, and it’s used to transport veterans from their homes to the hospital.”

Sempek and his fellow DAV members extended “a very sincere thank you for all the vans that Ford donates to the VA’s Veterans Transportation Program.”

As for Sempek himself, his new car was delivered to his home in April. Almost all of the costs were covered by the Nebraska Lottery.

“The Nebraska Lottery paid all the state and federal taxes, and even gave me a check for $1,800 in case there were additional taxes due,” Sempek said. “Plus I received a $100 gift card for ethanol. I just had to pay for the license and insurance.” The entire package was valued at $52,000.

“All I can say is, ‘Wow!” Sempek marveled. “It’s just unbelievable.”