Woodlands man a two-time corvette winner
Alden Bridge resident David Koller had a pretty good month last December.
Between a fruitful trip to Vegas and the luck of the draw, he made more than $75,000.
First, the 61-year-old learned on Dec. 3 that he was the winner of a 2010 "build your own" coupe or convertible corvette in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
Koller had entered a fundraising raffle sponsored by the National Corvette Museum.
"It was $100 apiece for tickets, I bought three, they only sold 1700," Koller said. "That's not too bad of odds.
"When they called I said 'I've been waiting on your call.' They were speechless."
No doubt speechless because this was the second time the museum has called him to tell him he's a winner.
In June 2008, Koller's name was drawn for a 2008 Indy Pace Car.
"You fly to Nashville, rent a car, drive a couple hours to Bowling Green, tour the museum, tour the plant where they build the corvette that was really an experience and then you drive away with it," Koller said.
But this time around, Koller chose option B, worth approximately $37,000 after taxes.
"I reluctantly took the cash option, with tears in my eyes," Koller said. "But I have no regrets. I have a ticket for next month's raffle."
Koller's pain was eased somewhat when a trip to Vegas Dec. 30 resulted in a $40,000 win.
Part of the reason Koller took cash over car is because he recently purchased a 2010 Grand Sport corvette.
The car was sent up to Pennsylvania to have roll bars and safety equipment installed.
Koller races 24 times a year with the Sports Car Club of America.
His Grand Sport is currently in Angleton, ready for Koller's first race of the season Feb. 12-14.
This will be his first time racing a corvette.
"It weighs twice as much as my other racecar, but has twice as much horsepower," Koller said.
His last racecar was an Elan DPO2. Before that, it was a Radical, which was built in England. And before that, it was a Thunder Roadster.
"Racing is just a hobby, even though it's a money pit for upkeep," Koller said. "If you can feel the rush of going 140 miles per hour into a corner, you'd understand why I do it."
He also does it because he made a promise to himself to work less and play more.
Koller and his wife Diane own Spring Overheard Door, a garage door business in Magnolia.
Koller said he'd been working "eight days a week," and when he had a heart attack in 2002, he re-evaluated his life.
"It was typical the elephant on the chest feeling, late at night," Koller said. "As you lay there you think about a lot of things. Like 'I can't do this anymore. Just let it go.'"
That same year, Koller went on to Vegas and won $25,000 over the course of two nights.
Koller's wife of 24 years, Diane, said he has always been lucky.
Lucky to even be alive, she said.
The heart attack happened when Koller was 54. A few years later, he fell on a tennis court and got a concussion. That was followed by the discovery of a tumor on his pituitary gland.
"Am I surprised he's lucky? No, because he survived all of that, and he's racing again," Diane said. "There's a reason God kept him here."
David Koller, 61
Community Connection: Alden Bridge
Occupation: Owner of Spring Overhead Door in Magnolia
Fast Fact: Koller recently won a corvette in a raffle draw for the second time
Quick Quote: "I reluctantly took the cash option, with tears in my eyes."
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