Morrison Biker Wins $1.9M Lotto Jackpot

DENVER – Joseph Jurak of Morrison rode his first motorcycle when he was 15 years old. Still riding and 13 bikes later, he upgraded his 2001 Harley for a 2007 model, just before he found out he was the Colorado Lottery's newest millionaire.

Originally from Illinois, the retired dentist won $1.9 million in the Lotto drawing on August 1 by matching all six numbers: 10, 12, 15, 20, 22 and 24. He has played the same numbers since Lotto started in 1989.

A firm believer that he would one day win, Jurak has come close before. He matched five of the six numbers when Lotto reached its all-time record of $27 million in 1992.

"I thought either God loves me, hates me or is playing with me," laughed Jurak, who plans to use the funds to help his family and friends. For the prize, the Jurak selected the cash option, which totaled $959,980 before taxes.

The probability of winning the jackpot is one in 5,245,786. Local Convenience Store, 1901 Wadsworth Blvd. in Lakewood, sold the winning ticket. The store receives a $5,000 bonus for selling the ticket.

In Jefferson County, more than $137 million in Lottery proceeds have helped to improve community facilities, local parks and nature trails such as the Dinosaur Ridge Visitors Center, Clear Creek Whitewater Park, and Golden Gate Canyon State Park.

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 fiscal year 2006, more than $117 million was returned to Colorado. Since the lottery started in 1983, more than $1.9 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.

September 10, 2007
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