Homeless Man In Colorado Wins $300,000+ On Lottery Scratcher

lump sum or annuity

One of the best decisions you can ever be faced with is whether or not you want to take the lump sum or annuity settlement when it comes to lottery payments. While it’s unclear if Michael Engfors got to choose between a lump sum or annuity one thing’s for certain; his life will never be the same.

Engfors is (probably was at this point) a homeless man living in Aspen, Colorado where he spent many nights at the Aspen Homeless Shelter. The 61-year-old builder was hit hard during the Recession and still struggling to get back on his feet when he won $300,000+ on a $10 Eternal Splendor scratch off ticket, according to CBSNews.com.

“He’s sincere; he’s a humble fella,” said Vince Savage, who runs the Aspen shelter. “He didn’t just waltz in here from some other venue. If it’s going to happen with somebody, we’re happy to have it happen to him. I wish more people had this solution.”

Engfors reportedly bought the ticket on Friday (12/4) with some of the money he makes doing odd jobs around town, but didn’t tell anyone and slept with it in his back pocket at the shelter over the weekend. Eventually he told Savage because he needed to get a ride to the Colorado Lottery claims office to cash in his lump sum or annuity.

Savage declined to say exactly how much the lump sum payment was worth, but did say it was between $300,000 and $400,000 after taxes. Brooke Christopher, a lottery spokeswoman, later confirmed his ticket was the last of four Eternal Splendor $500,000 jackpot winners. The lottery withholds 25% for federal tax off the top, then, depending on where you live and your tax bracket, another 6 to 9% for state taxes.

Unlike multi-million dollar lotteries such as the Mega Millions and Powerball, which can be paid out as annuities with one immediate payment followed by 29 annual payments that grow by 5% each year, lottery scratch-offs typically only allow for lump sum payouts. Although he could not be reached for comment, chances are that one check is exactly what Engfors would have taken anyway.

Savage did say Engfors told him he plans on using the money to help him find his only child, a long-lost daughter now in her 20s.

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