Fort Collins Player Wins Biggest Lotto Jackpot in Two Years

DENVER - What a difference a year makes. Last year, Bettina Cribari officially became a citizen of the United States after coming to Colorado from Germany in 1992. Since then, she's made a habit of playing the Colorado Lottery's Lotto game every Saturday. She says it was always a matter of 'when' she won the Lotto, never 'if.'

On March 17, her confidence paid off, and she matched all six Lotto numbers to become Colorado's newest millionaire.

"I actually didn't have a thought at all (when I realized I had won) because I just felt sick to my stomach," said Cribari, the mother of three. "I just had to check the numbers over and over."

Her first call was to her oldest daughter, who was completely shocked as well. Then planning mode kicked in. Cribari began talking to financial professionals to help her decide between the cash and annuity option as well as other investment opportunities.

She decided to take the cash lump sum of $3.4 million. Cribari, an alpaca trainer, plans to continue working and invest her winnings.

Schrader Country Store, 7600 Westgate Drive, sold the winning ticket. The winning numbers from the Lotto drawing on March 17 were 5, 8, 9, 19, 24 and 37. The probability of winning the Lotto jackpot is 1 in 5,245,786.

Proceeds from the Colorado Lottery's games - Scratch, Lotto, Powerball and Cash 5 - stay in Colorado to improve the quality of life in the state. In 2006, more than $120 million was returned to Colorado. Since the lottery started in 1983, more than $1.8 billion has been returned to the state.

The Lottery proceeds are distributed to three primary beneficiaries: Great Outdoors Colorado, Conservation Trust Fund and Colorado State Parks. These organizations then provide grants and direct funding for parks, recreation, open space acquisition, trails, wildlife and conservation education.

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March 29, 2007
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