Homeless Man Who Reached Rock Bottom Wins Lottery In Colorado

| by Zara Zhi
Michael Engfors holds his winning lottery ticketMichael Engfors holds his winning lottery ticket

A homeless man in Colorado got the surprise of his life when he won $500,000 on a lottery scratch card.

Michael Engfors, 60, struggled with alcoholism and lost his wife, home and business, leading to a life on the streets for six years.

Luckily for him, Engfors purchased a $10 scratch card at an Aspen gas station on Dec. 4 and actually hit the jackpot of $500,000.

A cashier at the gas station told KUSA that Engfors frequently bought scratch cards and would only ever win a few dollars.

The Colorado Lottery states the odds of winning the top prize in the Eternal Splendor scratch game are 840,000 to 1, according to the Daily Mail.

Jeremy Kowalis, from the Aspen Homeless Shelter, where the new lottery winner frequently stays, told KUSA: “Michael has seen a bottom that has pushed him right to the edge. But Michael never gave up. He knew that if he kept pushing on, eventually his luck would change.”

Engfors spent one final weekend at Saint Mary Catholic Church before the shelter director took him to the lottery office in Grand Junction to start collecting his winnings.

So what does the former businessman plan on doing with the cash? He'd like to buy himself a home and some skis.

But before looking into those things, he'd like to reconnect with his daughter who he has not seen for 20 years.

“He's interested in trying to find out how to go about reaching her and reconnecting with her, now that he's got a little bit more means to do so,” Kowalis said.

“It's such a great story," he added. "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.

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

Sources: Daily Mail, KUSA / Photo credit: Aspen Homeless Shelter via Daily Mail