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Air Force vet wins $6.5 million after nearly throwing away winning lottery ticket

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Oregon LotteryOregon Lottery: Air Force vet wins $6.5 million after nearly throwing away winning lottery ticket
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Air Force veteran William Bowker, 94, almost let a fortune slip right out of his hands.

Bowker often plays the lottery. But when his granddaughter checked his latest lottery ticket for him, she mistakenly thought it was a Mega Millions ticket instead of an Oregon Megabucks ticket.

Luckily, Bowker double-checked — and it paid off.

"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.

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15 comments. Last comment 2 months ago by mikeintexas.
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cottoneyedjoe's avatar - cuonvFT

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March 28, 2019
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Posted: August 3, 2019, 1:53 pm - IP Logged

Anyone else thinking it was no accident the granddaughter circled numbers for the wrong game? Maybe planned to fish it out of the trash later?

Top secret winning numbers: 5 16 17 24 33 52

    Raven62's avatar - binary
    25
    New Jersey
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    June 28, 2005
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    Posted: August 3, 2019, 2:08 pm - IP Logged

    Congrats to the Winner and his Family!

    Treat each Lottery Ticket as if it's a Winner until you're Double Sure it's Not!

    A mind once stretched by a new idea never returns to its original dimensions!

    Catch-22: A dilemma or difficult circumstance from which there is no escape because of mutually conflicting or dependent conditions.

    Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges: When the republic is at its most corrupt the laws are most numerous.

      hearsetrax's avatar - 0118

      United States
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      May 21, 2007
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      Posted: August 3, 2019, 2:11 pm - IP Logged

      Anyone else thinking it was no accident the granddaughter circled numbers for the wrong game? Maybe planned to fish it out of the trash later?

      👴even money 

        TheGameGrl's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg
        A long and winding road
        United States
        Member #17083
        June 10, 2005
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        Posted: August 3, 2019, 2:57 pm - IP Logged

        It's become the in thing to say...I almost lost the ticket, tossed the ticket ...or left it in the car. Really it should say..my life is boring so I'll sensationalized it by making up this tale of drama. 

         

        He claimed and so it goes. I'm not going to be THAT person. I'll show up ,tell the media my name and let them create the drama while I go off to live a decent life.

        *In memory of my little paw pet friend- Maxwell- June 2002 til Aug 16 2019. His paws still dance upon my heart. ***

          noise-gate's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcR91HDs4UJhjxO7cmeMQWZ5lB_FOcMLOGicau4V74R45tDgPWrr
          Chasing the Dream.
          White Shores- California
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          Posted: August 3, 2019, 4:26 pm - IP Logged

          If William is 94, l put he's granddaughter's age in the 50's range. How on earth does William catch her mistake? Probably knew he had to recheck her calculations because she screwed up in the past. Good catch William, you show them how it's done big fella.

          Sometimes you just have to DIY.

          Banana

           * Voice of Reason *   

           

          People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it- George Bernard Shaw.

            sweetie7398's avatar - flower2
            100
            South Carolina
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            Posted: August 3, 2019, 4:40 pm - IP Logged

            Congrats💸

            Life, love, family Love

              Avatar
              Navy Veteran USN
              Fresno, California
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              August 2, 2014
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              Posted: August 3, 2019, 7:03 pm - IP Logged

              Congratulations to William Bowker, 94.   $2.2 million will definitely help himself as well as his family. 

               I guess he did not want the annuity. LOL

               Thank You for your service Air Force veteran William Bowker!

               John Tyler was our tenth President from 1841 - 1845.US Flag

                LottoBux's avatar - ryn8iCO
                25
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                Posted: August 4, 2019, 1:12 am - IP Logged

                Anyone else thinking it was no accident the granddaughter circled numbers for the wrong game? Maybe planned to fish it out of the trash later?

                Anything's Possible.

                Maybe At His Age,She Figured He Would Take Her Word For It.

                Good On Him Though, For Following Through.

                                 

                  plumsage's avatar - rinard
                  north carolina
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                  Posted: August 4, 2019, 6:23 am - IP Logged

                  God bless Mr. William and his family.  I like a winner!!!

                  Happy healthy wealthy and wise.

                    HappyDreamer's avatar - lib
                    New Member
                    Perth Amboy, NJ
                    United States
                    Member #194003
                    November 25, 2018
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                    Posted: August 4, 2019, 10:06 am - IP Logged

                    Congratulations for your winning and thank you for your service.

                    What a blessing for you and your family! You proved that good things happen when you have faith in you and always paid off to check twice. 

                    Enjoy!!!

                    Prosperity is a way of living and thinking, and not just having money or things. G.

                      Cassie8620's avatar - lR4Ovq
                      0806,2680,3009,7447
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                      Posted: August 4, 2019, 11:48 am - IP Logged

                      Anything's Possible.

                      Maybe At His Age,She Figured He Would Take Her Word For It.

                      Good On Him Though, For Following Through.

                      oh i know a few who were thinking this when hearing the story, that i also shared from here, ya know."

                      I love seeing a good person who deserve it win, and i am very happy for this AIR FORCE VETERAN. How nice to see this!

                      -

                      But, yea, you're right, Lotto Bux ya never know.

                       

                      I am hoping i am blessed to live long as he has, this is so nice, as i personally don't drink.  NEVER smoke nothing at all. Smiley Eat right, with a few several snacks at times lol

                      but wow early 90s, god bless him! I am sure he will quite generously share with her entire family,those he love or who love her and  make plans for if he pass soon being in his nineties but i hope he live much longer to enjoy some of Smileythis beautiful jackpot."

                       

                      Just like a neighbor of mine whose  mom just turned the ripe old age of 93 and her father is going to be 99 in a week!

                      Both are so happy IN love, and doing well health-wise, truly amazin'. BananaGod bless him, congratulations.

                        Avatar
                        Kentucky
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                        Posted: August 5, 2019, 12:41 am - IP Logged

                        Regardless of what "almost happened" it still was a happy ending.

                          dpoly1's avatar - driver
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                          October 16, 2008
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                          Posted: August 5, 2019, 2:50 pm - IP Logged

                          Congrats and thank you for your Service!

                          US Flag

                          dpoly1 - Playing the lottery to save the jobs of those that build, transport, sell & maintain luxury items! -

                           

                          Eschew Poverty ........... Vote Conservative!

                            JAMORA's avatar - ladyclover
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                            Posted: August 5, 2019, 11:47 pm - IP Logged

                            If William is 94, l put he's granddaughter's age in the 50's range. How on earth does William catch her mistake? Probably knew he had to recheck her calculations because she screwed up in the past. Good catch William, you show them how it's done big fella.

                            Sometimes you just have to DIY.

                            Banana

                            Well, it does say she's a tax attorney....ThudI'd hate to have her do my taxes, and have to check behind her!

                            "Don't waste time, it's the stuff life's made of..."