August 2, 2019 - Salem, Ore. – After a distinguished career in the U.S. Air Force, 94-year-old William Bowker, a former pilot, knows a thing or two about double-checking himself. In this case, double checking saved him from throwing away a $6.5 million Oregon’s Game Megabucks ticket.
When Bowker’s granddaughter visited, she checked his Lottery tickets; he is a regular player of the draw games with high payouts.
“She thought it was a Mega Million ticket, and started circling matching numbers on the ticket,” Bowker said. “But they were for the wrong game. I had an Oregon’s Game Megabucks ticket. She got done, and later, I thought I should double-check it before throwing it away. I am glad I did. I immediately thought — BOOM! I won!”
Turns out one line of numbers on the ticket, without a single number circled, included the winning numbers. His winning numbers were 14-32-41-43-44-47.
“You can still see where she circled the wrong numbers!” he said.
The first thing the 94 -year-old Bowker did was call a family meeting to discuss the prize and how to use it. In fact, his daughter is a tax attorney, and Bowker plans to share his prize among his family members. He opted to take the bulk sum payment of $3.25 million. After taxes he took home $2.2 million.
“I have what I need, and I’m 94,” he said. “This is a wonderful way to help my family.”
Bowker purchased the ticket at the Jackson’s Food Store on SE 82nd Ave. in Happy Valley and used quick pick numbers. His $5 ticket had 10 numbers and, in addition to the $6.5 million jackpot, he also won a free Megabucks ticket. Jackson’s officials said they were very excited about selling the winning ticket and that it’s the largest ticket they have sold in Oregon so far. The company will receive a 1-percent selling bonus totaling $65,000 for selling the winning ticket.
“Jacksons is thrilled for our customer to have won the lottery, and we are happy to be the retailer to sell the winning Oregon’s Game Megabucks ticket,” said Katrina Lemmon, advertising and promotions manager for Jacksons Food Stores. “We are especially happy to find out the winner is a retired Air Force Pilot.”
During the 2015-17 biennium, more than $55 million in Oregon Lottery proceeds were directed to economic development, parks, education and watershed enhancement in Clackamas County, where Bowker lives and purchased the ticket. Since 1985, Oregon Lottery players have won more than $38 billion in prizes.
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 are advised to contact the Lottery office and schedule an appointment to claim their prize.
Since the Oregon Lottery began selling tickets on April 25, 1985, it has earned nearly $12 billion for economic development, public education, state parks, Veterans services and watershed enhancements. For more information on the Oregon Lottery visit www.oregonlottery.org