A homeless man who purchased a lottery ticket in Colorado on Friday is now $500,000 richer. He said the money can help him "reconnect" with a daughter gone from his life for two decades.
Aspen native Michael Engfors, 60, who has been homeless for more than six years, was staying at the Aspen Homeless Shelter when he purchased a scratch off-lottery ticket from a gas station, said KUSA-TV
. His $10 bet on good fortune paid off.
"It's such a great story, and it's really inspired so many people, because out of all of the people, especially in Aspen, Colorado, that could win half-a-million dollars, it couldn't happen to a better type of person, than somebody who actually uses the homeless shelter, that's for sure," said Jerry Kowalis with the Aspen Homeless Shelter.
"I don't think he normally spends $10 a day on a lottery ticket. But he did that day, and it sure paid off."
Gabby Garcia, a clerk at the Aspen Shell gas station, confirmed the winning scratch-off ticket to the Aspen Times
. Garcia said Engfors would often win $1 or $2 in scratch-off games, but he came into the store Friday shouting, "I won."
Garcia aid she reviewed Engfors' $10 ticket and immediately saw that he had the winning number.
The Colorado Lottery said the odds of winning the "Eternal Splendor" scratch-off game top prize are 840,000 to 1, according to NBC News.
"I asked him what he was gonna do, and he said he wanted to get some skis and he really wanted to connect with his daughter who he hadn't seen in over 20 years," Kowalis told KUSA-TV. "He's interested in trying to find out how to go about reaching her and re-connecting with her, now that he's got a little bit more means to do so."
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