Dec 15

Man Scoops $6.4 Million Oregon Lottery Jackpot from Iraq

A man from Iraq has won $6.4 million on the Oregon Lottery’s Megabucks game, having bought his ticket through an online lottery concierge service. The official Oregon Lottery does not sell tickets on the internet, but The Lotter sends locally-based agents to buy tickets on its customers’ behalf, uploading scans of the entries to their accounts and helping them through the claims procedure if they win.

Spokesman for the lottery, Chuck Baumann, called the win “absolutely unprecedented”, with Lottery Director Jack Roberts confirming that he had been advised the man had acted perfectly legally and was eligible to collect his winnings. Roberts also stated that, despite state law requiring lottery winners’ identities to be revealed, the player would remain anonymous due to the security risk to his family in Baghdad.

“In this case, I made the decision based on talking to the guy,” said Roberts, “I would hope that people would respect the reasons for not giving the name. It’s not going to mean anything to them, but it could to someone halfway around the world.”

The winner, who is 37 and has a wife and two children back home, made the 7,000 mile trip to Oregon Lottery headquarters in Salem on December 1 to claim his winnings. He runs a trading company in his country’s capital and told Willamette Week that buying lottery tickets is a hobby but he never thought he would win. His winning ticket was bought on August 24 from Binky’s Deli in Bend, with the delay in claiming the prize due to the length of time it took to obtain a visa for travel to the US. He now intends to make the most of his trip, hoping to stop off in Miami before he returns home.

He will receive his award in installments over 25 years, with the first slice of $158,720 ($256,000 minus 38 percent tax withholding) having already been paid into a new bank account set up in Oregon. The winner claims that his family are already financially comfortable and that he intends to give some of his prize to his children.

In addition to Megabucks, the Oregon Lottery also offers games like Win for Life and Lucky Lines as well as the massive multi-state lotteries, Powerball and Mega Millions.

by Mike Redfern
Updated December 11th, 2015

Mar 15

Oregon Man Misses out on “Misleading” Scratch-Off Win

An Oregon man thought he’d won $31,038 on a scratch-off, only to find out that it was actually worth nothing. Rodney Haven of Portland played the Spades ticket, on which there are 18 chances to beat the dealer by scratching a higher card in order to win cash prizes.

In any of the real-life variations of Spades, the suit of spades trumps anything other than a higher spade, leading Haven to believe that he had triumphed in five hands. However, on presenting the scratch-it at two stores, he was told that it was not a winner, leading him to contact the Oregon Lottery itself.

Haven claims that the lottery official with whom he spoke told him that they receive calls about the Spades game “every day”, an accusation which Lottery spokesman Chuck Baumann was keen to play down. Baumann stated that there had not been “a lot” of complaints before admitting that “there was more than one, that’s for sure”.

The Oregon Lottery website and the ticket itself merely state that “if your card beats the dealer’s card within a game, win prize [sic] for that game” and Haven insists that the description is “misleading”. Baumann counters that, because there is no mention of trumping, “it plays exactly as it reads”.

Mollie Cole, spokeswoman for the game’s manufacturer, Scientific Games International, maintains that “It is not modeled on the popular trick-taking Spades card game of which there are many variations, and no official rules.”

Spades costs $3 to play and features a top prize of $30,000 – £1,038 less than Haven asserts that he is owed. You can find out more about the Oregon Lottery at the dedicated Results page of Lottery.net.

by Mike Redfern
Updated March 30th, 2016