60-Year-Old Homeless Man Gets A Half-Million Lottery Jackpot

Michael Engfors, a 60-year-old homeless man with his winning lottery ticket.

It was a story to warm your heart. Michael Engfors, of Aspen, Colorado, purchased a $10 scratch-off lottery ticket at a local grocery story in Aspen last week, according to a spokesman for the Aspen Homeless Shelter.

And he won half a million dollars.


For years, Michael Engfors built the wood trim, doors and shelves in the mansions in this exclusive resort town before losing work during the recession and eventually becoming homeless about five years ago.

Kelly Tabor, a spokeswoman for the Colorado Lottery, confirms that a man named Michael E. claimed the $500,000 grand prize on Monday.

Engfors, who does occasional construction work, purchased the ticket on his own but had the shelter’s director, Dr. Vince Savage, drive him to the lottery office on Monday to collect his prize.

Kelly Tabor said Engfors won the last of three grand prizes on the “Eternal Splendor” scratch-off lottery game.

“We cut him a check and he was on his way,” Tabor told ABC News, adding that Engfors took home $355,000 after taxes.

Engfors, who could not be reached for comment by ABC News, plays the lottery occasionally, usually buying $1 tickets, according to the Aspen Homeless Shelter.

“He plans to find a place to live, and wants to re-connect with his daughter who he hasn’t seen in over 20 years,” said a shelter spokesperson.

While the winnings should change Engfors life in many ways, he probably still can't afford a place of his own in Aspen, where homes sell for millions, rather than hundreds of thousands, of dollars.

Engfors' scratch ticket was the last of three Eternal Splendor scratch tickets worth $500,000 to be sold in the state.