Colorado lottery winner's first order of business after winning $5M: buy watermelon and flowers

Sep 15, 2023, 7:30 pm (11 comments)

Colorado Lottery

Lucky winner has priorities in check

By Kate Northrop

MONTROSE, Colo. — A Colorado man's priorities after winning a $5 million Colorado Lottery's Colorado Lotto+ jackpot were clear — buy a watermelon for himself and some flowers for his wife.

Some lottery players might scratch their heads wondering why one Colorado man made a point to say that a watermelon was the first thing he sought to buy after winning $5 million in the lottery, but the reason is a rather sweet one.

Waldemar "Bud" T. of Montrose won $5 million in the lottery — $5,067,041 to be exact — while playing the in-state draw game Colorado Lotto+.

While his winning numbers were being drawn on Wed., Sept. 6, Bud, who is retired, was out on a backpacking trip in the Holy Cross Wilderness with his golden retriever, Augie. It wasn't until he returned from his adventures in the great outdoors that he was able to check his ticket.

"It must be a mistake!" was the first thought that crossed his mind.

But the results were clear. His ticket matched the winning numbers to win the Lotto+ jackpot, which were 2, 19, 20, 34, 36, and 37.

At 77 years old, Bud isn't slowing down anytime soon. Alongside being an avid lottery player, he's an outdoor enthusiast who loves biking, hiking, climbing, and playing tennis.

"Colorado is the most beautiful place in the world," he said to the Lottery.

Bud and his wife split the year between living six months in Arizona and six months in Colorado. Every month he's in Colorado, he makes a point to play Colorado Lotto+ and "always" plays using his own lucky numbers chosen by his own secret formula.

Having purchased his winning ticket at Hangin Tree Travel Plaza on US Highway 550 in Montrose, he opted to take the cash option of the prize, which came out to $2,533,520.

His first order of business? Buy himself a watermelon and some flowers for his wife.

While many hopeful lottery players speculate about where they'll spend a lavish vacation or what model car they'd like to buy, Bud says he and his wife live a simple life.

However, his wife has upcoming surgeries, so he hopes to give her as much cheer and support as he can by providing some much-needed help around the house and yard while she is recovering.

The lottery winner also believes that there's much more he can do with the prize, including giving back to others in need.

"I'm going to give to some charities and really think about what it is I was meant to do with this," Bud said.

The Colorado Lotto+ jackpot currently stands at $1.3 million for the next drawing on Sat. Sept. 16. Drawings take place every Wednesday and Saturday at 7:36 pm GMT, and tickets cost $2 each. All winning numbers, prizes, and odds are published on Lottery Post's Colorado Lottery Results page right after each drawing.

The Lottery will be adding a third Colorado Lotto+ weekly drawing on Monday nights. The first Monday drawing will take place on Sept. 25. The added drawing is expected to produce larger jackpots while increasing the number of cash prizes and jackpots awarded on an annual basis, the Lottery said.

For an extra $1 per play, players may add the Plus option to their ticket, which enters their numbers into an additional drawing conducted immediately after the Colorado Lotto+ drawing. Matching all six numbers in the second drawing will net a $250,000 Plus jackpot. Any other lesser prize amounts ranging from $3 to $250 are multiplied by the multiplier amount shown on the ticket.

The odds of matching all six numbers to win the Colorado Lotto+ jackpot are 1 in 3,838,380.

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

Lottery Post Staff


sully16's avatarsully16

I love this guy, he wants the simple things in life, plenty of time for the big stuff.

Congrats to Bud and I hope his wifes surgery goes well.

Lotterologist's avatarLotterologist

Congratulations, Bud!

Anyone who likes watermelon is alright with me!

hearsetrax's avatarhearsetrax

if ever thar was a true example of how life and love should be

mightwin1's avatarmightwin1



So that's where Waldo is.

And he's an AZ snowbird.

Does he pay the higher CO income tax, or the lower AZ income tax?

Artist77's avatarArtist77

That is really their business as to which home they claim as their main residence.

justguessin's avatarjustguessin

🥰What a sweet story. I hope his wife recovers  quickly  so they both can make beautiful memories together.



CDanaT's avatarCDanaT

Quote: Originally posted by Wavepack on Sep 17, 2023

So that's where Waldo is.

And he's an AZ snowbird.

Does he pay the higher CO income tax, or the lower AZ income tax?

Won big $$ in CO and has the privilege/joy of paying their state income tax. No matter where he claims full time residency at.....lucky man

KY Floyd's avatarKY Floyd

"Does he pay the higher CO income tax, or the lower AZ income tax? "

As above, it's CO income so CO gets the income tax on it. If AZ tax was higher than the CO tax AZ would get the difference if  he's a resident of AZ for tax purposes. It would make sense to be domiciled in the state with the lower income tax rates, but since he won in the state with the higher tax rate  his residency is irrelevant in terms of the lottery prize.

Artist77's avatarArtist77

It is actually an offsetting credit. Purchasing state gets first crack and you pay any difference in your home state if it is a different state. You will not pay any additional state tax if your home state/non purchasing state is lower.

End of comments
Subscribe to this news story