The cancer-stricken winner of the $1.3 billion Powerball jackpot in Oregon will get a $422 million lump-sum after taxes and says he'll keep playing the lottery

  • The winner of the $1.3 billion Powerball jackpot in Oregon is a Laos-born immigrant battling cancer.

  • He's opting to take the lump-sum option, and will receive $422 million after taxes.

  • Cheng Saephan, 46, plans to split the money with his wife and a close friend.

The winner of Oregon's $1.3 billion Powerball jackpot is a 46-year-old Laos-born immigrant who opted to take his winnings in a lump-sum payment — meaning he'll get $422 million.

Cheng Saephan told reporters at a press conference on Monday that he's been battling cancer for eight years and was living on disability income.

The winning ticket was one of 20 bought at a Portland convenience store by Saephan, who said he won through luck and his religious faith.

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

Saephan told reporters that after praying, he wrote out all the numbers from 1 to 69 on a sheet of paper that he put under his pillow.

"I slept with it for two weeks, and then I win it," he said.

Saephan, who's been an Oregon resident for 30 years and lives in Portland, said he was at home when he discovered he'd won the April 6 drawing.

He initially thought he'd come up empty when checking his bundle of tickets but realized he hit the jackpot when looking through the last few.

"Mom, we're rich," he recalled saying to his mother, who was drinking coffee at the dining table.

He intends to split the money between himself, his 37-year-old wife, and a friend who gave him $100 to buy the batch of tickets that led to the jackpot.

Saephan said he called this friend, Laiza Chao, soon after to share the news. Chao is to receive 25% of the winnings.

"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.'"

Saephan, who worked in the aerospace industry as a CNC operator before his cancer diagnosis, said he plans to buy his "dream home" as his first purchase. He said he'd spend the money in a "just normal" fashion as he fights a terminal illness.

"My life has been changed. Now I can bless my family and hire a good doctor for myself," Saephan said.

He added that he wants to continue playing the lottery.

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

The total amount to be received by Saephan, his wife, and Chao is $422,309,193.97 after taxes, per the Oregon Lottery.

The state lottery added that the store that sold the winning ticket is getting $100,000.

Saephan's Powerball win is the state's largest in history. Previously, the biggest Oregon jackpot was announced in 2005 and worth $340 million.

The Oregon Lottery said ticket sales have since 1985 earned some $15.5 billion that goes toward parks, schools, veteran services, and other state expenses.

The biggest-ever lottery jackpot in the US was $2.05 billion, won by Edwin Castro in California in November 2022.

Oregon and California are states where lottery winners cannot remain anonymous by law. Only 17 US states allow jackpot recipients to hide their identities, including Texas, Arizona, Georgia, New Jersey, and Maryland.

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