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When Richard Leber heard the winning Oregon Lottery St. Patrick’s Day Raffle numbers on the radio this morning, little did he know, he was holding the winning ticket.
“When I heard the numbers, I thought ‘that’s nice, someone won.’ Little did I know it was me!” Leber said when he claimed his prize.
Leber had purchased five $10 St. Patrick’s Day Raffle tickets at different Oregon Lottery retailers at different times to increase his chances of winning. The winning ticket was purchased on January 25 at the Plaid Pantry on Highway 212 in Clackamas.
“I have purchased raffle tickets ever since the first Oregon Lottery Raffle was offered,” Leber said.
Leber checked his tickets at a Fred Meyer and they couldn’t tell him how much he won, just that it was more than $600. He picked up his wife and they drove to the Oregon Lottery’s Wilsonville Payment Center, where he found out he had won $1 million. Wilsonville only pays up to $50,000.
“We had to go to Salem to claim, so on the trip from Wilsonville to Salem we were very careful,” he said. “By the time we got to Salem, I was shaking.”
Leber, a Vietnam Veteran, said each year he makes a sojourn to the Riverside National Cemetery in California to visit three of his friends who were killed during the war.
“I joined the Marines with one of them,” he said. “So I go and visit them each year and make the trip. We are brothers.”
Now he plans to make a vacation of the trip and visit his brother in Arizona and ride his new Harley Davidson motorcycle in the Laughlin River Run.
“I have been riding since 1969 so I will be buying a new Harley with the money,” he said. “It is going to be so nice to be debt free.”
Leber’s prize after taxes was approximately $670,000.
Over the years, the Oregon Lottery has held 17 Raffle games, including this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Raffle. In addition to the one $1 million top prize, the raffle also offers 1,800 other prizes including 300 prizes of $500 and 1,500 prizes of $100.
The Oregon Lottery reminds players to always sign the back of their Lottery tickets, regardless of the game. In the event of winning a jackpot, they should consult with a trusted financial planner or similar professional to develop a plan for their winnings. Prize winners of more than $50,000 should contact the Lottery office to schedule an appointment to claim their prize.
Since the Oregon Lottery began selling tickets on April 25, 1985, it has earned more than $11 billion for economic development, public education, state parks and watershed enhancements. For more information on the Oregon Lottery visit www.oregonlottery.org
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