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Published on April 30, 2024
Lucky Strike in Portland: Immigrant Cancer Warrior Bags $1.3B Powerball Jackpot!

In a twist of fate that reads like a Hollywood script, an immigrant from Laos battling cancer has won a life-changing $1.3 billion jackpot from the Oregon Powerball, securing a future for himself and providing a heartwarming story of luck meeting necessity. 46-year-old Cheng "Charlie" Saephan, along with his wife Duanpen and friend Laiza Chao, have become the latest multimillionaires, with Saephan planning to use his windfall to pay for his cancer treatment and secure a new home, according to a KGW report.

Saephan, who emigrated to the U.S. in 1994, worked at a manufacturing facility for airplane components until his cancer diagnosis in 2016, he has been shouldering the burden of his illness with strength but with the winning ticket sold at the Plaid Pantry at 6060 NE Columbia Boulevard, life has thrown him a much-needed lifeline, and CEO Jonathan Polonsky gets to share in the joy as the store is awarded a $100,000 bonus while employees there will see a bigger bonus thanks to the lottery's commission structure according to a KATU article.

The Plaid Pantry where the winning ticket was sold isn’t the only entity reveling in the afterglow of the massive win; the state of Oregon is set to receive $7.6 million from ticket sales that will fund public programs including education and veteran services, retailers who sold the tickets have enjoyed a combined commission of $1.8 million, with all these numbers serving as a reminder of the trickle-down effect of lottery fortunes, as reported by KOIN.

While the future is uncertain, Saephan's outlook is bright, he humorously hinted at continuing to play the lottery saying, “I might get lucky again,” according to the same KOIN interview, with the laughter of a man who’s known hardship yet finds himself at the center of a once-in-a-lifetime windfall; his optimism is a refreshing palette cleanser in a world too often saturated with tales of malady without the miracle.