Someone in Colorado got a wonderful post-Valentine’s surprise that’s definitely better — and longer lasting — than a chocolate-covered marshmallow heart. A lucky Colorado Lottery Lotto+ player won $11,555,105 million the day after the February holiday.
He thought he’d won $500, Meghan Dougherty, Communications Director of the Colorado Lottery, told Play Colorado. Instead, by choosing the lump-sum option worth $5,777,552, he won more than 5 million times what he might have initially paid for the ticket. (That’s before the government takes its chunk, of course.)
The drawing happened on Wednesday, Feb. 15. The lucky winner claimed their good fortune the next day. “He was so excited he could hardly stand it,” Dougherty said. He even wanted to tip the lottery team, which they couldn’t accept.
The winner bought that fortuitous ticket for $2 ($1 more with the “Plus” option) at King Soopers at 19711 E. Smokey Hill Road in Centennial. All six numbers matched those picked in the drawing. They were: 10, 15, 24, 29, 35, 40. The ticket holder had until Aug. 14 to claim the prize, 180 days from the drawing date.
That prize had been building since late summer. The previous Lotto+ big winner took the $2,452,971 jackpot on Aug. 17.
Colorado Lottery winner wanted to use money to help a local school
This big win may just prove that sometimes good things happen to good people. Dougherty commented on the winner’s generous attitude:
“He just wants to give back because we made him so happy. Since we made him happy, he’s going to make someone else happy and was thinking about getting iPads for one of the local schools.”
Colorado has luck playing Powerball
Before Lotto+, there was just Colorado Lotto. Sept. 23, 2019, marked the first upgraded Lotto+ drawing. A Durango resident won $1,543,353 in that inaugural draw.
According to the Colorado Lottery, the odds of winning a Lotto+ jackpot land at 1 in 3.84 million. If multiple players match all six numbers, they share the jackpot equally.
Big-jackpot games are popular in Colorado as they are everywhere. But as high as the Centennial State may score regarding outdoor beauty, fresh air activities, and famous film festivals, it lands at the bottom of the pack regarding the number of Mega Millions winners. No one has ever won the top Mega Millions prize with a ticket purchased in Colorado.
Don’t feel bad, though — 20 other states have no claim to Mega Millions fame either. They include:
Colorado has fared better when it comes to big Powerball bucks, however. At least four Powerball winners have come from here. The state’s biggest winner saw their bank account increase by $90 million in June of 2009.
According to LotteryDirect.com, Powerball odds land at 1 in 292,201,338. Mega Millions odds come in at 1 in 302,575,350.
You can always check your tickets at the Colorado Lottery website on the unclaimed prizes page. Sometimes smaller prizes go unredeemed because people forget or don’t bother checking for them. In fact, almost $3 billion in unclaimed lottery wins go uncollected in the United States annually. Many unclaimed smaller prizes contribute to that amount.
Happy Anniversary, Colorado Lottery!
Just like the $11.5 million Lotto+ winner, the Colorado Lottery had a fantastic February. On Feb. 8, it celebrated its 40th anniversary. And on top of that, the agency also reached a milestone of $4 billion in proceeds.
At the time, Lottery Director Tom Seavor spoke about the agency’s success and its ensuing ability to fund some of the conservation projects that care for the state’s renowned outdoors — which the $11.5 million winner may now have more free time to enjoy.
“We’ve also tried to ensure all Coloradans know that whether they play the Lottery or not, they win whenever they visit a state park or one of the thousands of Lottery-funded projects around the state. Reaching $4 billion and 40 years is a great start, but we are committed to making this year’s Colorado Lottery the best one yet.”
The $11.5 million Lotto+ winner likely thinks the year is going very well so far.