Homeless Man Wins Life-Changing Colorado Lottery Prize

Wednesday December 9th 2015

A man who had been homeless for six years after losing his home and business can now get his life back on track thanks to winning a huge Colorado Lottery prize. Michael Engfors, a lifelong resident of Aspen, had been struggling with alcoholism, which cost him his job, his home and his marriage. He had been staying at halfway houses over the years right up until last weekend, when his fortunes changed for the better.

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On Friday December 4th, he walked into the City Market gas station and purchased an Eternal Splendor scratchcard for $10. When he realized that he had won $500,000, the maximum amount offered on the game, he ran back into the store screaming that he had won. Gabby Garcia, a staff member at the station who regularly sees Engfors, told 9News that Engfors often came in to buy tickets, but that he typically only won smaller prizes.

Jeremy Kowalis, who works for the Aspen Homeless Shelter, said to 9News that Engfors had suffered through hard times but “never gave up. He knew that if he kept pushing on, eventually his luck would change.” Kowalis added that he didn’t know whether or not Engfors typically spent $10 on lottery tickets often, but that the purchase he made on Friday “sure paid off.”

Engfors beat odds of 1 in 840,000 to win one of the three top prizes available, and spent one last weekend sleeping in a homeless shelter before visiting a Colorado Lottery office in Grand Junction to claim his windfall. He plans to purchase a home and some skis with his winnings, but he also wants to try and get in touch with his daughter, who he hasn’t seen in more than 20 years. No matter where she might be located, Engfors plans to buy a plane ticket to go see her.

People often talk about big lottery prizes as “life-changing”, and the money snapped up by Michael Engfors last weekend is no exception. It goes to show that anyone’s luck could change at any time as their winning numbers are called or they scratch off a coating to uncover an unimaginable payday. Colorado Lottery games like Powerball, Mega Millions, Lotto and Cash 5 all offer similar opportunities to dramatically improve one’s life, with tickets available from authorized retailers throughout the state. Visit the Colorado Lottery page to learn more.

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