Rose Fief, who works as a clerk at Smoker Friendly at 40 E. Victory Way, hands a Colorado Lotto ticket to a waiting customer Thursday afternoon. Sometime earlier in the week, she did the same thing for another customer, and it turned out to be worth $1.17 million. Smoker Friendly will get a $5,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket.

Photo by Hans Hallgren

Rose Fief, who works as a clerk at Smoker Friendly at 40 E. Victory Way, hands a Colorado Lotto ticket to a waiting customer Thursday afternoon. Sometime earlier in the week, she did the same thing for another customer, and it turned out to be worth $1.17 million. Smoker Friendly will get a $5,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket.

Local man wins $1.17 million in Colorado Lotto jackpot

8. 15. 16. 31. 40. 42.

Add the numbers up, and they equal $1.17 million for one Craig resident.

A local man won the jackpot in the Wednesday night Colorado Lotto drawing, but the winner's identity was unknown as of Thursday afternoon. The Daily Press is trying to verify the name, which state officials also don't know.

Another local resident was there for the winner's big moment, however.

Les Self, store manager for Kum & Go at 895 Yampa Ave., went to work Thursday morning like he does most other days.

Things changed about 11 a.m.

A man who Self described as "a somewhat regular customer" came into Kum & Go with about five Colorado Lotto tickets in his hand.

He asked to have them run through the store's machine to see if he had a winner, as most customers will the day after a Wednesday or Saturday draw, Self said.

The manager took out a printed slip of Wednesday night's six lucky numbers and began to count down through the ticket.

"First, there were four matching numbers," Self said, "and then we saw five, and then I looked at him and I said, 'Man, you have all six. The jackpot.' It was pretty bizarre. The shock on his face, everybody around wondering what was going on."

The shock didn't seem to freeze anyone but the winner.

"We kind of had a mad rush of people coming in to buy tickets," Self said. "People were rushing in from outside."

As exciting as it was, Self added he wouldn't encourage people to buy large quantities of Lotto tickets from here on out.

"It's like a false hope for most people, when it comes down to it," he said. "Unless you're the big winner, I guess. I wish (the winner) good luck with it. For someone from Craig to win, that's pretty awesome. Hopefully, it'll help out somebody that really needs it."

Although Self was the person with Craig's newest millionaire at the moment he discovered he won, Rose Fief was the person who sold the town's luckiest ticket.

Fief, who works at Smoker Friendly at 40 E. Victory Way, said she was shocked to hear she handed someone more than $1 million, a turn of events that assuredly will change the man's life.

"I think he should share the wealth," Fief joked.

Store Manager JoDeena Bullock said it was the first time in the national chain's history that someone won a lottery off a Smoker Friendly ticket.

It's also the first time a Craig resident has won the big prize since 1995, when the state began tracking where jackpot winners live, said Erika Gonzalez, Colorado Lottery media relations specialist.

Whenever the man comes to the Colorado Lottery office in Denver, he will choose whether to take a cash lump sum or annuity payments, Gonzalez said.

If he chooses the cash, he'll receive $418,123 immediately.

"With Lotto winners, they can walk out with money in hand," Gonzalez said.

If he chooses annuity payments, he'll first get a $20,905.95 check on the spot and then receive slightly larger checks each year for the next 25.

Gonzalez said the total gross sum in that case will add up to the full $1.17 million prize, but the winner will have to pay 29 percent in taxes on each check, bringing the total money received down to $830,700.

She added it usually takes closer to a week before jackpot winners claim their prize.

"Normally, they want to seek some kind of professional financial advice first," she said.

Collin Smith can be reached at 875-1794 or cesmith@craigdailypress.com.

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