Rifle truck driver shocked by $90M lottery windfall
A lifelong Colorado resident who spent the last 50 years living in Rifle, most recently as head of family and father of two girls, showed up in Grand Junction Wednesday to claim the $90 million jackpot from Sunday’s Colorado Lottery drawing.
The man named Claude goes by Al. He declined to reveal his last name, but introduced his mother, two daughters and wife, Jackie. Born in Glenwood Springs, Al said he lived in Rifle for more than 50 years.
The trucker seemed a little flustered during a press conference at Colorado Department of Revenue offices in Grand Junction. He conceded he woke up every day since Sunday thinking he was living in a dream.
“Oh my God. Oh my God. Al. Oh my God,” was the way wife Jackie woke her husband with the news on Sunday, Al said.
The tickets, both quick picks, were purchased for the family by the two girls. The family plays the lottery most weeks and buys tickets at various convenience stores in Rifle, he said.
Never before did Al believe he could be a jackpot winner and so he never considered what he might buy first if he won.
“That’s undecided at this point,” he said. “I don’t know yet.”
With Jackie and his mother on either side, Al said the only decision he’s made so far about spending the money is that he will be traveling with his wife. He has not decided whether to take an annuity or lump sum, but has hired a lawyer to help him make future decisions.
It was a week of celebration for the family since Al’s birthday was Aug. 5, his wedding anniversary was Aug. 7, and he won the lottery Aug. 10.
Al said he would probably continue to work, but wife Jackie was emphatic. She will not. Al said he will not be buying the company he works for.
It was the largest lottery jackpot ever claimed by a Colorado native, said Brooke Christopher, the state lottery’s communications manager.