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What city is luckiest when it comes to Megabucks?

A review by the Pamplin/EO Capital Bureau shows where winners bought their tickets and how they chose numbers.

EO MEDIA GROUP - Oregon Lottery terminalPORTLAND — In the past five years, 24 tickets have won the Oregon's Game Megabucks grand prize. In some cases, winners had to share the $1 million or greater grand prize.

People who bought tickets in Jackson County had the best luck, according to a review by the Pamplin/EO Capital Bureau of addresses where winning tickets were sold in the past five years.

Quick Pick tickets — in which numbers are randomly generated by a computer at the store — were more likely to win than when players selected their own numbers. Only five out of 42 winners in the past five years had manually-selected numbers. Three were unknown, and the other 37 were Quick Pick tickets.

A majority of winners — 25 — bought tickets outside of the Portland metro area. Only 17 tickets in that five-year period were sold at stores in the Portland metro area, including Portland, Milwaukie, Beaverton and Sherwood.

In the metor area, Portland — the state's population center — unsurprisingly had the greatest number of winning tickets — nine in those five years. Beaverton had four, Milwaukie, two, and Sherwood, two.

Salem, the state's second largest city, had five winners — one each year.

Eugene — the state's third largest city — had no winners during that five-year period, though neighboring Springfield had one.

Interestingly, 2014 was a lucky year for Jackson County. That year, only tickets sold at two separate stores in Medford and at the Albertsons in Ashland won the grand prize.

In the five-year period, Albany, Prineville, Boardman, Bend, Warrenton, Coburg and Sandy had one winner apiece.

The last winning tickets were sold at a Plaid Pantry at North Going in Portland and at the Sandy Liquor Store. Those winners split the $9 million grand prize.

Northeast Portland resident Tarver Hannant, an amputee whom months earlier Willamette Week had profiled for a story on the high cost of health care, was one of those two winners.

He opted for a one-time cash payment and received about $1.5 million of the $4.5 million after taxes were subtracted.

That was the third time in 2017 a Plaid Pantry store in the Portland metro area has sold a Lottery ticket worth $1 million or more, according to a news release at the time by the Lottery. The news release stated that a Plaid Pantry in Clackamas sold a winning $1 million Raffle ticket, and in May, a Portland store near Oregon Health Science University Hospital from the Beaverton-based convenience store chain sold a $1 million Powerball ticket.

Megabucks drawings are held every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday at 7:29 p.m. The Lottery draws six numbers from a set of 48. Players get two sets of numbers for each $1 they play. Winners have one year to claim their prizes.

Megabucks is one of several games the Lottery has offered since it started in 1985. The Lottery has paid out $28 billion in prizes since then. It also is the state's second largest source of revenue after income taxes and has contributed more than $9 billion toward public education, economic development, state parks and watershed projects.

Paris Achen
Portland Tribune Capital Bureau
email: pachen@portlandtribune.com
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