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$1.3 billion Powerball jackpot winner in Oregon revealed: "I have been blessed"

$1.3 billion Powerball jackpot winner revealed
$1.3 billion Powerball jackpot winner revealed 01:49

The winner of the $1.3 billion Powerball jackpot in Oregon last month is an immigrant from Laos who had been battling cancer for eight years.

The winning Powerball ticket was sold in early April at a Plaid Pantry convenience store in Portland, ending a winless streak that had stretched more than three months.

Oregon Lottery officials on Monday said 46-year-old Cheng Saephan, a Laos-born immigrant living in Portland and had his latest chemotherapy treatment last week, claimed the winning ticket.

"I am grateful for the lottery and how I have been blessed," Saephan told reporters at a news conference Monday, according to CBS affiliate KOIN. "I am able to provide for my family and my health. … My life has been changed. Now I can bless my family and hire a good doctor for myself."

Oregon Powerball Winner
Cheng "Charlie" Saephan holds a check above his head after speaking during a news conference where it was revealed that he was one of the winners of the $1.3 billion Powerball jackpot at the Oregon Lottery headquarters on Monday, April 29, 2024, in Salem, Ore. Jenny Kane / AP

Saephan said he was relying on a combination of faith and luck when he purchased more than 20 tickets for the drawing.

"I prayed to God to help me," he said. "My kids are young and I'm not that healthy."

Officials said Saephan decided to take his winnings as a lump sum, $422 million after taxes, with his wife Duanpen Saephan, 37, and friend Laiza Chao, 55, of Milwaukie.

Saephan said his friend is getting part of the winnings because she gave him $100 toward the purchase of the tickets. After discovering he was holding the winning ticket, he called her to share the news.

"I said, 'Laiza, where are you?' and she said, 'I'm going to work,'" said Saephan. "I replied, 'You don't have to go anymore.'"

According to KOIN, he told reporters he plans to first purchase a home for himself in his family in Oregon. He also said he will likely continue to play the lottery after his winnings.

"I might get lucky again," he said. "I'll keep playing."

Under Oregon law, with few exceptions, lottery players cannot remain anonymous. Winners have a year to claim the top prize.

The Oregon Lottery said it had to go through a security and vetting process before announcing the identity of the person who came forward to claim the prize.

The $1.3 billion prize is the fourth-largest Powerball jackpot in history, and the eighth largest among U.S. jackpot games, according to the Oregon Lottery.

The biggest U.S. lottery jackpot won was $2.04 billion in California in 2022.

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