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Apr 11, 2011 7:42 PM by Andy Koen

Oops! Newspaper prints wrong lotto numbers, lets down local couple

Imagine waking up and checking the Sunday paper to find that you've won the lottery, but then learning that the newspaper printed the wrong numbers.

That's just what happened to a Pueblo couple last weekend. Jim and Dorothy Sprague say they experienced a lot of joy and a lot of heartbreak all in the course of an hour Sunday morning.

"I woke up and found out we were millionaires," Jim Sprague said. "(It was) a case of going from rags to riches and back to rags again."

The newspaper had mistakenly published Friday's Matchplay numbers in place of Saturday's Colorado Lottery drawing. In his excitement, Sprague called his children to tell them he'd won the $4.3 million jackpot.

"We had told my son and my daughter and we were getting ready to tell our other kids, but we found the mistake that it was wrong," Sprague said. "It's a good thing that I didn't talk to too many people."

The Sprague's are able to laugh about the ordeal now, but they admit they're still a bit frustrated.

"I tried calling them yesterday, Sunday, as soon as we found it," he explained. "I called and got a recording."

The newspaper published a retraction in Monday's paper, faulting the error on "misinformation and an oversight."  Sprague said he decided not to push the issue after reading the retraction. And he says the experience won't keep him from playing the lotto in the future.

"I hope that I'll find the right numbers one of these days."

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