Oregon Authorities Announce $1.3B Powerball Jackpot Winner



An immigrant from Laos who has been battling cancer for eight years is one of the winners of a $1.3 billion Powerball jackpot. Cheng “Charlie” Saephan and his wife Duanpen, along with their friend Laiza Chao, won half the money after contributing $100 to a batch of tickets, coming to a lump sum of $422 million after taxes. Saephan, who moved to the U.S. in 1994, plans to use the money to provide for his family and improve his healthcare.

Laos Immigrant Cancer Patient Wins Powerball Jackpot

An immigrant from Laos, Cheng “Charlie” Saephan, who is battling cancer for eight years, was announced as a winner of a $1.3 billion Powerball jackpot. Saephan, 46, from Portland, will share half of his winnings with his wife, Duanpen and the rest with his friend, Laiza Chao, 55, who contributed $100 to buy the tickets.

After taxes, the lump sum payment amounts to $422 million. “I will be able to provide for my family and my health,” said Saephan, who is seeking effective medical treatment. Despite his health condition, Saephan expressed concern about his ability to spend the fortune within his lifetime.

Saephan, who has two young children, revealed his origin story at the press conference. Originally born in Laos, he moved to Thailand in 1987 before immigrating to the U.S. in 1994. He identifies as Iu Mien, a southeast Asian ethnic group with roots in southern China. His community in Portland has a large and active population of the Iu Mien group.

Prior to his win, Saephan worked as a machinist for an aerospace company. In the lead-up to the draw, he carried a piece of paper with numbers under his pillow, hoping to win so he could provide for his family.

The winning Powerball ticket was sold at a Plaid Pantry store in Portland in early April. Oregon law mandates that lottery winners cannot remain anonymous and have a year to claim the prize.

The $1.3 billion prize is the fourth largest Powerball jackpot in history, and the eighth largest among U.S. jackpot games. The largest U.S. lottery jackpot, of $2.04 billion, was won in California in 2022.

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