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$1.3 Billion Powerball Jackpot Winners Announced

A man, his wife, and their friend are making history as winners of $1.3 billion Powerball jackpot – the fourth largest Powerball jackpot.

46-year-old Cheng “Charlie” Saephan, of Portland, purchased the ticket for the April 6th drawing and was the only person in the country to match all five numbers plus the Powerball.

$1.3 billion PowerballSaephan is sharing the prize with 37-year-old Duanpen Saephan, his wife, and his 55-year-old friend Laiza Chao, of Milwaukie. The prize will be split among the three individuals: 50% (Chao) and 25%, 25% (Saephans).

All three elected to take the cash option, which totals $422,309,193.97 after taxes.

Saephan, who has battled cancer and is fighting a recurrence, was relying on a combination of faith and luck when he purchased over 20 tickets for the drawing. In the weeks leading up to the jackpot, he wrote out numbers from the game (1-69) on a piece of paper and slept with it under his pillow.

“I prayed to God to help me,” he said. “My kids are young and I’m not that healthy.”

Saephan, who is Iu-Mienh, was born in Laos and has lived in Portland for the past 30 years. He said the prize will allow him and his family to live “worry free” in light of his illness.

Chao gave Saephan $100 toward the purchase of tickets for the game. 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,’” recalled Saephan. “I replied, ‘You don’t have to go anymore.’”

The $1.3 billion Powerball win is by far the biggest prize ever won in Oregon. Previously, the largest Powerball prize won in Oregon was a $340 million jackpot in 2005.

“I want to offer my heartfelt congratulations to the Saephans and Ms. Chao on this historic win,” said Oregon Lottery Director Mike Wells. “Not only is the prize life-changing for the three of them and their families, it’s also a huge win for the state.”

Approximately a third of sales from Powerball will be returned to state beneficiaries to support economic development, education, veteran services, state parks and more. The retailer that sold the winning ticket, Plaid Pantry, will also receive a $100,000 bonus.

Powerball is a multi-state jackpot operated by 45 states, plus the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

A ticket in Florida just won a $214.9 million Powerball jackpot.

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