Jesus Leonardo, 57, is married with two children and works 10 hours a day picking up the garbage at an OTB place in midtown then feeding thousands of tickets through a scanner. His biggest win was a ticket for $9500 in 2006 and he snared one for $8040 last month.
His operation got so successful that he now hires staff, takes a lunch hour and pays taxes. Which makes his job significantly more legitimate than most in the media right now. And he even inspires religious devotion in those making bets:
Freddy Peguero, 53, a short-order cook from Manhattan, rooted for Mr. Leonardo to scan a winner one recent afternoon.
"Everybody in here loves Jesus," he said. "When Jesus wins, we all eat, and we all drink. Jesus is a very generous man."