Iraqi Citizen Claims $6.4 Million Oregon Megabucks JackpotWednesday December 16th 2015
Last week, the winner of the $6.4 million Oregon Megabucks jackpot won on Monday, August 24th came forward to claim their prize - after travelling all the way from Iraq. The huge windfall had gone unclaimed for more than three months, generating a significant amount of excitement throughout the state, but no one expected that the person who walked through the doors of the Oregon Lottery office in Salem would have made a journey from across the world to pick up that check.
The Iraqi national purchased their Oregon Megabucks ticket from a site called theLotter, which sends locally-based agents to buy lottery tickets on behalf of site users and uploads a scanned copy of the ticket into the player’s account. Smaller prizes are claimed for the player and paid out to them shortly after the draw, while the site provides dedicated support for those who win a larger sum.
The Megabucks winner in question spoke to the Willamette Week and explained that he had played the game in the past, but had never expected to win. “It was a shock,” he said. “At first, I thought it was a joke.”
The man, who lives in Baghdad and was described by theLotter as “M”, needed to get a visa to the United States and establish a bank account before claiming the prize, which explained the lengthy wait to receive the money. He chose to take an annuity and will receive 25 payments of $256,000 per year before taxes, and had a fairly unusual request - he wanted his identity to remain a secret.
Jack Roberts, the executive director of the Oregon Lottery, defended the organization’s choice to allow the winner to remain anonymous, saying to the Willamette Week that “he’s told me about his situation in Iraq. The situation there is dangerous. If word gets out there that someone has come into a lot of money, bad things could happen...I don’t want to read that somebody has been kidnapped or killed because we announce them as a Megabucks winner.”
The current Oregon Megabucks jackpot is worth $3.6 million for tonight’s drawing and has been rolling over since Saturday 14th November, when a single ticket holder snapped up $6.6 million. Tickets for tonight’s drawing are available from authorized retailers throughout the state.