Man hits $1M lottery prize at Carbondale store

Randy Essex
Glenwood Springs Post Independent
Cowen Center Convenience Store in Carbondale.
Will Grandbois / Post Independent |

The Roaring Fork Valley has a new near-millionaire thanks to a scratch-off lottery ticket sold at a Carbondale convenience store.

A man identified by Colorado Lottery officials only as Nelson L. won a $1 million prize on a $20 Luxuriant Treasures ticket, lottery spokeswoman Kelly Tabor said. After taxes were taken out — 25 percent to the federal government and 4 percent to Colorado — the man was paid $710,000, Tabor said.

Colorado law permits lottery winners to be identified by only first name and first initial of their last name. Tabor said Nelson L. declined other publicity, such as a photo, which also is his option.

The ticket was sold at the Cowen Center Convenience Store/Valero gas station on Cowen Drive.

Mario Salgato, a manager at the Valero, said the winner is a regular at the store among the many workers who swing into the store near the intersection of highways 133 and 82 on the way to work.

“He comes in every morning to get coffee,” Salgato said.

Tabor said that unlike stores that sell winning lotto tickets, the Valero does not get a payment for selling a big scratch winner, but Salgato said the win has fueled increased scratch ticket sales since word got out about Nelson’s win.

Million-dollar wins are rare in Colorado. This is only the third seven-figure win in Garfield County since the beginning of 2006.

The others were the state’s largest-ever jackpot, a $90 million Powerball ticket sold in August 2014 at Rifle’s Kum & Go on East 26th Street, and a $1 million scratch ticket sold in New Castle in 2009.