Family-run liquor store in Estes Park sells $500,000 winning Powerball ticket

ESTES PARK, Colo. (KDVR) — If you purchased a Powerball ticket in Estes Park over the past few days, check your numbers. Someone who was in the area is now half a million dollars richer. 

“We’re hoping that it’s a local that got the ticket,” Matt Rameau, owner of Rambo’s Longhorn Liquor Mart told FOX31. 

Rambo’s sold the winning ticket for the Feb. 21 Powerball drawing. The store only realized it when they called their lottery representative on Monday to order more scratch-off tickets. 

“He goes, ‘It says you guys sold a $500,000 winner.’ And I’m like, ‘No way,’” Rambeau said. “The first thought that went through our head was, ‘Holy cow, we never would have thought that would happen here.’”

According to Rambeau, the last major winner the store sold was a $50,000 winner about 15 years ago. 

“So it’s exciting. It’s different and we’ll just see where it goes from here,” he said. 

Rambeau says he has called several of his regular customers and is asking everyone at check-out if they’ve checked their tickets. So far, no winners have come forward. There is also a high probability that the winner is a tourist. 

While everyone waits to find out who won, rumors began circling that Rambo’s would also benefit from the winning sale. Some believed the small store would be entitled to 5% of the prize, which would be $25,000.

“That would be amazing because we would never expect anything like that, even with selling a ticket like that,” Rambeau said. 

However, according to the Colorado Lottery, Rambo’s will not make any money from the winning ticket. 

“Retailers make 6% on the sale of winning tickets that match 5 of 6 numbers. This winner matched 4 of 6,” Colorado Lottery spokesperson Meghan Dougherty told FOX31. 

Lottery retailers like Rambo’s do make a 1% profit from every winning ticket they process in the store. However, stores can only process winning tickets of $599 or less. Any winner $600 and above, including the $500,000 Powerball ticket, must be processed through the Colorado Lottery. 

While the rumored $25,000 windfall would have been a welcome surprise for the small shop, Rambeau says his business does not need it as much as so many other locally owned places in Estes Park. 

“It has been absolutely insane with the whole COVID thing. Crazy enough for liquor stores it’s been good. It’s been very good for us,” he said. “We feel bad for a lot of people and businesses that we know aren’t as lucky.”