Forgotten lottery tickets net Oregon man $8.9 million

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Wilbur Brown of Springfield, Oregon bought 26 consecutive lottery tickets but then forgot to check the results every week until he discovered he had won $8.9 million.

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A “26 for $25” Megabucks ticket turned out to be a good investment for a Springfield, Oregon man, lottery officials said.

But it almost didn’t happen.

Wilbur Brown purchased the ticket, covering 26 consecutive lottery draws over 13 weeks, at a Moose Lodge in Springfield on Christmas Eve, a lottery news release said.

He had never bought one before a friend bought one, but decided to give it a try, Brown said. At first, he was conscientious about checking the winning numbers.

“After the first few drawings, I was checking my ticket,” Brown said. “Then I just sort of forgot about it and didn’t check.”

On a return visit to Moose Lodge in February, Brown remembered the drawings and pulled out his ticket to check the winning numbers.

A self-checking machine told him to “see customer service”. That’s when he learned he had won $8.9 million on January 29, lottery officials said.

Brown elected to take his earnings as a 30-year annuity, entitling him to about $200,000 a year after taxes. He set up a trust fund for the money.

The Moose Lodge will receive $89,000 for the sale of the winning ticket, which the manager says will be a welcome benefit after some tough years in recent years.

Don Sweeney has been a journalist and editor in California for over 25 years. He has been a real-time reporter based at The Sacramento Bee since 2016.

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