Jan 8, 2009, 1:48 am
Is it unfair to investigate a player just because he plays a lot?
The Colorado Lottery launched an investigation into a repeat winner and his self-described "system" for winning the Cash Five jackpot again and again.
The real reason Tadeusz Krupa wins so often may have nothing to do with luck, skill or cheating. He may just play... a lot.
Krupa splits his time between two modest homes. One houses his ex-wife and children in Brighton. The other is also the office for T&D Polish Imports & Exports, Inc. in Fort Lupton. Inside, there is little evidence Krupa is importing and exporting anything other than his own money into and out of the Colorado Lottery.
The Fort Lupton home office is sparsely furnished: a few chairs, a computer, some papers scattered about the floor and a kitchen pantry filled with stacks of lottery tickets.
The multitude of tickets, along with luck, are the only valid explainations for Krupa's winning ways, say lottery officials.
The Colorado Lottery investigated when other lottery players complained that Krupa and his immediate family had won $1,000 or more in Colorado's Cash 5 game a total of 21 times since December 2007.
His $158,000 haul, before taxes, includes seven $20,000 jackpots.
"We know that this gentlemen didn't scam the system," said Colorado Lottery Deputy Director Tom Kitts.
Kitts says lottery investigators interviewed the Krupa family and store employees where the winning tickets were bought. Kitts says there is no sign of any wrongdoing.
"It was just an unusual occurance," said Kitts. "My best guess is this gentlemen and his family probably play quite a bit... there's been an incredible streak of luck here as well."
"I have a system," said Krupa.
"It is up here," he added, tapping his forehead.
"If anyone claims to have a system, they may believe they have a system, but we certainly don't believe there is such a thing," said Kitts.
Krupa says he searches for "winning numbers" on the Internet, then fills out thousands of playing tickets by hand. Store clerks say Krupa has been known to buy thousands of dollars worth of tickets a week.
Krupa claims he has won more than he has spent. There is no way to prove it. The Colorado Lottery does not track individuals' purchases.
He often gives his winning tickets to family members to redeem and the lottery does not track winners of less than $1,000, so it is impossible to put an exact total on his winnings.
Krupa was nonchalant when asked about the idea of luck.
"Maybe," he said with a shrug.
Krupa says he is taking a few months off from playing the lottery.
While he plays thousands of number combinations at a time, Krupa says he has a set of "lucky numbers", and offered to share them if anyone is interested: 8, 12, 16, 22 and 27.
Krupa claims his first lottery win was also his largest, a $500,000 jackpot in his native Poland three decades ago.
Thanks to LckyLary for being the first to send the tip.
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