ASPEN, Colo. (CBS4)– A homeless man in Aspen is rich after he purchased a winning scratch-off ticket and won the jackpot.

For the past six years, Michael has been a regular at the homeless shelter in Aspen. He says he plays the lottery once in a while and that most he ever won was $20.

But that all changed last Friday when he won $500,000.

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

Michael won the lottery on Friday (credit: Jeremy Kowalis)

Michael won the lottery on Friday (credit: Jeremy Kowalis)

Aspen is known for its expensive real estate and trendy shopping, but there is also a homeless population that some may not realize exists.

“There are two kinds of people in Aspen, those who own three houses and those who work three jobs,” said Savage. “A lot of our guys work and they work a lot but that doesn’t mean they can afford a place to live in this kind of real estate market.”

For six years, Michael was down on his luck and called the shelter home.

Michael told CBS4 he plans to use the money to reconnect with his daughter, who he has lost touch with. He also plans to find permanent housing.


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