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Oregonian Battling Cancer Wins $1.3 Billion in the Fourth-Largest Jackpot in Powerball History

Cheng who has been fighting cancer for eight years is happy because now he can help his family find a good doctor.
PUBLISHED MAY 7, 2024
Cover Image Source:  Powerball signs that would usually read the number of millions in the jackpot | Photo by Andrew Spear/Getty Ima
Cover Image Source: Powerball signs that would usually read the number of millions in the jackpot | Photo by Andrew Spear/Getty Ima

Oregonian Cheng “Charlie” Saephan has spent eight arduous years battling cancer. He had chemotherapy just last week but in the middle of his ordeal, he received some incredible news: he was one of the fortunate winners of the enormous $1.3 billion Powerball prize, per Fox 59. Saephan was overjoyed to share this amazing victory with his wife Duanpen, and their friend Laiza. They chose the cash option which meant they would receive over $422 million in total after taxes. Half of it will go to Laiza, and a quarter each to Cheng and Duanpen. 46-year-old Cheng showed his happiness for his family at an Oregon Lottery news conference, stating they will now have a wonderful life ahead of them. Even amid the rejoicing, his thoughts were constantly consumed by his continuous fight with cancer. He worried, "How will I find the time to enjoy all this money?" Cheng is adamant about continuing to live a "normal" life despite his illness. One of his aspirations is to purchase his family's "dream home."

Image Source: A customer purchases a Powerball lottery ticket at the Brew Market & Cafe on October 10, 2023 in Austin, Texas. The Powerball jackpot has grown to over $1.7 billion, making it the second largest jackpot in history | Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images
A customer purchases a Powerball lottery ticket at the Brew Market & Cafe | Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images

A Powerball ticket bought in Oregon has struck gold, winning a massive jackpot of almost $1.33 billion. It's the fourth-largest jackpot ever in Powerball history as confirmed by Powerball officials. The winning numbers for Saturday were 44, 27, 52, 22, 69, and the Powerball number was 9. Just one ticket sold in Oregon matched all six numbers, making the lucky holder an instant billionaire with a prize of $1.326 billion. Now, they have a decision to make: they can either take the money in yearly installments or opt for a lump sum of $621 million before taxes. The final rush of ticket sales pushed the jackpot beyond its initial estimate of $1.3 billion, making it the eighth-largest jackpot ever in US lottery games, according to Powerball.

But the Oregon champion isn’t the only one celebrating this weekend. Seven other tickets were matched with five white balls, each winning $1 million. Those lucky tickets were sold in Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan and Wyoming. Sunday's 10:59 p.m. ET but there was a delay of more than three hours. Powerball explained that lotteries need extra time to complete certain pre-draws. This jackpot line is one of the longest in Powerball history. The previous big win was on New Year's Day when a Michigan ticket pulled in $842.4 million.

Image Source:  A sign shows the estimated jackpot for Powerball in the window of a store on October 04, 2023 in Miami, Florida. Wednesday's Powerball drawing will be an approximately $1.2 billion jackpot | Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images
A sign shows the estimated jackpot for Powerball in the window of a store | Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The largest Powerball jackpot to date is a staggering $2.04 billion from ticket sales in California in November 2022. The next largest jackpot is $1.765 billion (one ticket in California, 2023) and $1.586 billion (three tickets, 2016). To win the Powerball jackpot, a ticket must match five white balls as well as a red Powerball. According to the lottery, the odds of winning any prize in the Powerball drawing are about 1 in 24.9 while the odds of winning the jackpot are about 1 in 292.2 million.

According to Powerball, this prize, which was won on April 6, was the fourth-largest in the company's history. Although there was a lot of enthusiasm, the drawing was delayed by more than three hours to ensure that all the pre-draw details were correct. It was also Oregon's largest Powerball victory ever.

Image Source: A customer purchases a Powerball lottery ticket at the Brew Market & Cafe on October 10, 2023 in Austin, Texas. The Powerball jackpot has grown to over $1.7 billion, making it the second largest jackpot in history | Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images
A customer purchases a Powerball lottery ticket at the Brew Market & Cafe | Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images

The Oregon Lottery reported that the winning ticket was purchased from a Plaid Pantry location in Portland. And what do you know? For selling that winning ticket, the retailer receives a huge $100,000 bonus. After living in Portland for thirty years, Cheng Saephan, originally from Laos, offered a touching story about his victory. He selected Quick Pick and let the computer do the choosing. "God chose me," he said. When Saephan found out about his win, he couldn't wait to share the news with his friend Chao from Milwaukie, Oregon. He gave her a call, and she was in her car, heading to work. But Saephan had some news that made work seem less important: "You don’t have to go to work now. We won the lottery. We won the jackpot." Talk about a morning surprise!

“I will be able to provide for my family and my health,” he said, adding that he would also be able to find a good doctor for himself. He said he and his Duanpen are taking half the money, and the rest is going to their friend, Chao. Chao had chipped in $100 to buy a batch of tickets with them.

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