Colorado homeless man wins $500,000 in lottery

A Colorado man who had been homeless for more than six years finally got a little bit of luck Friday when he won $500,000 on a scratch-off lottery ticket. 

KUSA reported that 60-year-old Michael Engfors, of Aspen, had suffered a series of misfortunes that included divorce, alcoholism, and the loss of his business.

"Michael has seen a bottom that has pushed him right to the edge," Jeremy Kowalis of the Aspen Homeless Shelter told the station. "But Michael never gave up. He knew that if he kept pushing on, eventually his luck would change."

A clerk at the Aspen Store, which is attached to a Shell station, confirmed to that Aspen Times newspaper that a man won $500,000 at the store Friday afternoon. Gabby Garcia said the man, whom she did not identify, was a frequent lottery player, usually with $1 and $2 tickets. But on Friday, she said the man bought a $10 ticket, then came running back into the station shouting "I won."

Kowalis told KUSA that after confirming that he was the lucky winner, Engfors went to a local church to spend the weekend sleeping on the floor. The homeless shelter's director was due to drive Engfors to Colorado state lottery headquarters in Grand Junction Monday to begin collecting his winnings.

"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 said of Engfors.

"I don't think he normally spends $10 a day on a lottery ticket," Kowalis added. "But he did that day, and it sure paid off."

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