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$7.8 million ticket purchased on a whim

by Patrick Johnson | Mar 08, 2016

March 4, 2016 - Salem, Ore. – One dollar left over in an Oregon Lottery vending machine led an Astoria woman to win $7.8 million playing Oregon’s Game Megabucks.

Pam Allen of Astoria put $7 into the Oregon Lottery vending machine at the Warrenton Fred Meyer on Wednesday, after purchasing three $2 Scratch-its, she had $1 dollar left, and on a whim picked a single, Quick Pick Megabucks ticket.

Thursday morning, when she was checking her Scratch-its back at Fred Meyer, she realized she needed to check her Megabucks ticket. When they checked the ticket, the word “Jackpot” appeared on the screen. Not knowing exactly what that meant, Allen then went out to her car in the parking lot and called her best friend to check the numbers in the newspaper.

“I wrote the numbers on a scratch paper I found in the car, and checked, and I told her I had all six numbers,” Allen said. “She started crying and I started screaming, it was cool.”

Allen called her husband Curt, who thought it was a mistake, and also called her son and woke him up after he worked a graveyard shift. The three of them got in the car and drove to Salem.

“Buying the ticket really was an afterthought,” Pam said when she claimed her prize at the Lottery office in Salem Thursday afternoon.

By winning the $7.8 million jackpot, Allen became Oregon’s 254th Megabucks millionaire. Allen opted to take the one-time lump sum cash payment option, and took home approximately $2.6 million after taxes.

Allen is a life-long resident of Astoria and she is going to use the money to fund her retirement, although she still plans to keep the flower stand she operates.

“I love my flowers,” she said. “I’m not going to give those up.”

The winning numbers were 4-8-11-27-42-43 for the Wednesday, March 2, drawing. Oregon’s Game Megabucks numbers are drawn every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.

The Warrenton Fred Meyer will receive a 1-percent selling bonus for selling the winning ticket, bringing in $78,000 to the store located off Highway 101.

Allen is the first player this year to win an Oregon’s Game Megabucks Jackpot.

Lottery officials recommend that you always sign the back of your tickets with each Oregon Lottery game you play, to ensure you can claim any prize you may win. 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 nearly $10 billion for economic development, public education, state parks and watershed enhancements. For more information on the Oregon Lottery visit