A pit stop at a Monument gas station led a down-on-her-luck Aurora woman to claim a multimillion dollar prize in Tuesday’s Mega Millions lottery drawing.
Katie M., a cancer survivor of three years who had just been laid off from her job as a social worker, picked up her $2 million prize at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Denver claims office, said Colorado Lottery spokeswoman Kelly Tabor.
Katie M., as she is identified, and her husband, Jeff, recently were driving through Monument when they stopped at My Goods Market, 534 Colorado Highway 105.
She purchased one ticket, using the “quick pick” computer-generation option, which randomly selects the numbers.
Her ticket matched the first five winning numbers in Tuesday’s drawing but missed the sixth, the Mega Ball number, which would have netted her the more than $500 million jackpot.
Instead, Katie M. won $1 million, which was doubled to $2 million because she paid an extra dollar to get the Megaplier.
Of her winnings, 28% will be deducted to pay for state and federal taxes.
The store gets a $3,000 commission bonus for selling the winning ticket, Tabor said.
No one won Tuesday’s jackpot, so the jackpot for Friday’s Mega Millions drawing will increase to an estimated $530 million.
When she found out her ticket had matched five of the six numbers, Katie M. asked her husband to look at the ticket because she couldn’t believe it, Tabor said.
In addition to surviving cancer and losing her job, Katie M. recently had been in a car wreck that totaled her vehicle.
It was “literally the perfect storm,” Tabor said.
“So it’s one of those amazing things where it’s like, wow, the timing could not have been better.”
Katie M. told lottery officials she’s going to use the money to help pay off her student loans.
She’s also considering going back to school to study art history. Her husband is a sculptor who does metalworking.
The couple plan to travel to the Cayman Islands, a longtime dream, and possibly take a few other “bucket-list” trips, including to Italy and Machu Picchu in Peru.
While Katie M. bought the winning ticket, her husband also is an avid lottery fan, who enjoys playing “Second Chance” scratch tickets, Tabor said.
Contact the writer: 719-476-1656.