FOUR MILLWORK EMPLOYEES SPLIT $1 MILLION POWERBALL PRIZE
FORT COLLINS – Four employees at John Murphy Millwork in Erie are $1 million richer today, after matching five numbers and choosing the Power Play option for Saturday’s Powerball drawing. The co-workers – a bookkeeper and three cabinet makers – claimed their prize at the Lottery’s Fort Collins office Monday afternoon.
“All of us are still in a daze,” said John Abeyta, who purchased the lucky ticket for the group. “I don’t think I’ll believe it until I cash the check.”
The group has been purchasing $40 worth of Lotto and Powerball tickets with Power Play once a week for more than a year. Though they won small amounts here and there, the large prize took everyone by surprise. Initially, Abeyta and co-worker Delena DeLaBarre thought they won $200,000, but after checking the Lottery’s Web site, they realized the amount was much larger. Players who match five numbers in the Powerball drawing usually win a $200,000 prize, but the game was restructured this year, allowing those who hit that combination to win $1 million if they opt for Power Play for an extra $1.
DeLaBarre plans to use the money to become debt-free. She’ll also give $5,000 to each of her three children. Abeyta, on the other hand, hasn’t decided what to do with his windfall.
“I come from a from a family of 15 brothers and sisters, so it will all be used in some way,” said Abeyta, who also planned to share the wealth with the clerk who sold him the winning ticket.
The group, which received $177,500 each after taxes, plans to continue their pool. And DeLaBarre was pushing for a small celebration after the checks were cashed.
“I told these guys, ‘Let’s go have a beer somewhere. My gosh, I’ll buy!’” DeLaBarre said.
Proceeds from the Colorado Lottery’s games – Powerball, Cash 5, Scratch, and Lotto - stay in Colorado to improve the quality of life in the state. The Lottery has returned more than $2 billion to the state of Colorado over the last 26 years. Through Great Outdoors Colorado, the Conservation Trust Fund and Colorado State Parks, the Lottery has provided funding for new trails, precious open space and wildlife protection.
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