Brighton Man Scores $250,000 Prize in Second-Chance Drawing

DENVER – John Warren usually spends his days roaming around the metro-area installing and repairing cell phone towers. But after Colorado Lottery officials surprised him with news that he won the $250,000 Crossword Doubler Second-Chance Drawing, the biggest problem Warren had to address was how to spend his quarter-of-a million dollar windfall.

"I’m going to pay off cars and cards and stimulate the economy," joked a beaming Warren, who was shocked when Lottery officials (accompanied by his wife, mother-in-law and granddaughter) showed up at his office with a ceremonial $250,000 check.

Warren won the top prize in the drawing after entering “lots” of non-winning $250,000 Crossword Doubler $10 Scratch tickets. His name was chosen from 74,000 entries.

A frequent Scratch player, Warren had never won any substantial prizes before the drawing. The money, however, arrives in the nick of time for the Warren family.

"I just lost my job, so this is like, 'Oh My God,'" added Warren’s wife Linda, who explained that the couple had just tried to trade in her van because they were worried about how to make the monthly payments. "We were just devastated for the last two weeks."

In addition to paying off bills, Warren plans to set up college funds for his two adopted children, ages nine and 11. Warren also plans to share the wealth with his three step-children.

"This is going to change my life quite a bit," he said.

The Colorado Lottery holds about 10 second-chance drawings annually on select Scratch games. Players can enter their non-winning tickets for the second-chance drawings by mail or via the Internet. To see the current list of games that qualify for drawings, visit https://www.coloradolottery.com/games/scratch/secondchance/index.cfm?location=29.

Proceeds from the Colorado Lottery’s games – Scratch, Cash 5, Lotto, and Powerball - stay in Colorado to improve the quality of life in the state. Lottery dollars have contributed to building parks, restoring trails, preserving open space, protecting wildlife and improving recreational opportunities for citizens statewide.

In 2007 alone, the Lottery distributed $123.3 million to its proceeds partners - Great Outdoors Colorado, the Conservation Trust Fund and Colorado State Parks. Nearly $2 billion has been returned to the state since the Lottery was established in 1983.

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March 12, 2008
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