Peters bought two Connecticut Lottery tickets at a local store on November 1 as part of a 20-year tradition he shared with his wife Charlotte.
Later that day, the 79-year-old retired hat factory worker suffered a fatal heart attack while working in his yard in Danbury.
On Friday, his widow cashed in one of the tickets: a US$10 million [A$17 million] winner which, in her grief over her husband's death, she had put aside and almost discarded before recently checking the numbers.
"I'm numb," Charlotte Peters, 78, said at Connecticut Lottery office.
She does not yet know what she will do with the money.
"I've always wanted a Corvette, but I don't think I'll buy one. I'll stick to a small car. I might go to Mohegan Sun," she said, referring to the casino in Connecticut.
"I'm going to go home and sit and think."
The Peters children think their father would have appreciated the irony.
"He'd be very mad, he just passed away and she won a lot of money," said Brian Peters, one of the couple's three children.
"He'd say, 'Figures!'"
The Peters had three children and two grandchildren.
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