An American man has beaten odds of two billion to one to win a million dollars on a lottery scratchcard for a second time.

Bruce Magistro, a 48-year-old builder from Long Island in New York, bought his first winning ticket in 2012.

His wife Yvonne was suffering from lung cancer at the time, and so he spent the money on her medical bills. She died two years ago today - the same day he was present his second cheque for a US$1 million win.

His son Matthew, 17, said the second win was "divine intervention" and a gift from his late mother.

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"It's definitely going to change my life this time," said Magistro.

"The last time, my wife was sick and needed the money for bills and everything, It gave me the opportunity to stay home with my wife for three years. This time, hopefully, I'll invest it and make more money off of it."

Magistro said he now plans to use the winnings to pay off his mortgage and to help his three children. "It's going to help me out a lot with all my bills and all that.

"I can't retire on it, so I'm not going to retire."

He said he was shocked when he got the news.

"The first one I told before my fiancée was my son," he said. "He was in the shower, and I said, 'I told you Pop was going to win twice.'"

Lee Park, of the New York state gaming commission, said the odds of winning the grand prize of his first win, an Extreme Cash scratchcard, were one in 2.52 million. The odds of winning his second scratchcard, Win for Life, are one in 7.75 million.

Philip Protter, a professor of statistics at Columbia University, said the odds of Magistro winning the two games were approximately one in two billion.

"I'm hoping to win three times," said Magistro. "You just got to believe. You never know."