Veteran Wins Oregon Lottery After Almost Throwing Ticket Away

Wife of unpaid federal employee wins $100,000 on lottery
GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/SCOTT OLSON

A veteran in Salem, Oregon, is thankful he took a second look before throwing away the winnings of a lifetime.

Former Air Force pilot William Bowker, 94, said he almost threw a $5 lotto ticket in the trash when he decided to ask his granddaughter to check it one more time.

“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.”

That is when he took a second look and discovered something amazing. “I am glad I did. I immediately thought — BOOM! I won!” the veteran said after realizing he hit the jackpot at $6.5 million dollars.

Reports said Bowker purchased the winning ticket at Jackson’s Food Store on SE 82nd Ave in Happy Valley.

“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,” Oregon Live reported.

Katrina Lemmon, the advertising and promotions manager for Jackson’s Food Stores, said the company is happy that Bowker bought 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,” she commented. “We are especially happy to find out the winner is a retired Air Force Pilot.”

Bowker won the jackpot but decided to take the lump sum payout of $3.25 million. After taxes, it brought the total sum to $2.2 million.

However, the Air Force veteran called a family meeting once he realized he won and told them that he is not going to spend all the winnings on himself.

“I have what I need, and I’m 94,” he commented. “This is a wonderful way to help my family.”

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