Triple the luck for unemployed woman

Cathy Ortiz lost her job last fall as a small truck operator and was left living with her son in Evans, Colorado.

Now, thanks to the luckiest week of her life, she can put a down payment on a house in the Fort Collins area where she was raised.

"It's like when things are down, something good always happens," Ortiz said. "I never expected this good."

Last Sunday Ortiz won a progressive jackpot on the slots at the Century Casino in Central City.

She pocketed $1,260.

Then on Monday she won $500 on the Colorado Lottery's Free Ride scratch ticket.

"That was a first 'cause I had never won that much on scratcher," Ortiz said.

Riding her lucky streak, she cashed the winning ticket from the day before and bought 10 more Free Ride tickets along with a few Lotto and Powerball tickets.

Ortiz then matched four of the five numbers, including the Powerball number in Wednesday's drawing.

By opting for Power Play, which costs a dollar extra, the Power Play multiplier was 5 which turned her original $10,000 prize into $50,000.

"I'm looking and I look at the date, the drawing date, my ticket and then I was hollering for my daughter-in-law," Ortiz said. "I said, 'Marie, Marie.' She said, 'What?' I said, 'I won.'"

Marie Speer said she could not believe it.

"I thought something was wrong with her," said Speer. "It's crazy. She deserves every bit of it, though. She does a lot for everybody and she puts back."

Ortiz says she often donates to charity especially the Red Cross even though she's been laid off since last fall.

She's been spending time at the casino winning some and losing some.

"I'm a gambler and my husband is probably thinking 'Thank God.' She finally got all her money back,'" laughed Ortiz.

Her total winnings will go to good use as she plans to spend a portion of the windfall on a down payment for a house in Fort Collins where she grew up.

Ortiz also said she plans to pay off her daughter's car and buy a car for her daughter-in-law.

"I was in shock when she told me that she was gonna get me a car," Speer said. "I didn't know what to say."

Ortiz says she thanks God for all that she has received.

"Lucky or blessed, I don't know which one it is, either way, I'm very happy," Ortiz said.