Oregon: Powerball Winner Of $1.326B Is Laotian Immigrant Battling Cancer

Cheng “Charlie” Saephan holds display check above his head after speaking during a news conference where it was revealed that he was one of the winners of the $1.3 billion Powerball jackpot at the Oregon Lottery headquarters on Monday, April 29, 2024, in Salem, Ore. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane)

OAN’s James Meyers
12:11 PM – Wednesday, May 1, 2024

The winners of the $1.326 billion Powerball prize have officially come forward and were revealed by the Oregon lottery on Monday. 


As one of the winners of the jackpot from last month, Cheng “Charlie” Saephan, 46, an immigrant from Laos, told the press that he has had cancer for eight years and that he had his most recent chemotherapy treatment last week. Saephan also told reporters that he prayed to God for help after making the purchase.

Under Oregon law, with very few exceptions, lottery players must come forward and cannot remain anonymous.

46-year-old Saephan said that he and his wife, Duanpen, 37, would be splitting the prize evenly with another friend who chipped in on the purchase. The couple also announced that they will be taking a lump sum payment, which will be around $422 million after taxes. The jackpot is subject to federal taxes and state taxes in Oregon. 

The couple’s friend, Laiza Chao, 55, reportedly put in $100, in addition to the couple’s $100, in order to buy 20 tickets.

“I’m happy for my family, they will have a good life,” Saephan said during the press conference. “I’m battling cancer so thinking how am I going to spend all the money,” he said, adding that he can now find a “good doctor” and that he and his wife plan to buy a home with their lump-sum winnings.

Saephan, who is a father to two children, said that “as a cancer patient,” he wondered, “how am I going to have time to spend all of this money? How long will I live?”

The moment that Chao bought the tickets, he recalled sending a photo of the batch to his wife, jokingly saying, “We’re billionaires.” It was a lighthearted joke before the actual drawing, he claimed, but then when the winners were finally announced, the “joke” ended up becoming a reality.

“I call Laiza as she’s driving to work, I told her you don’t have to go to work now; we won the lottery; we won the jackpot!” Saephan added during the press conference.

The numbers drawn for the jackpot were 22, 27, 44, 52 and 69, with a Powerball of 9, the lottery said.

Additionally, the Plaid Pantry location in Northeast Portland will also receive a $100,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket, according to lottery rules. 

“Plaid Pantry is thrilled to learn that one of our 104 Oregon stores sold the $1.3 billion dollar Powerball ticket,” Plaid Pantry President and CEO Jonathan Polonsky said in a statement to the Oregon Lottery. “This store is one of our newest and most loved stores. Proceeds from the Oregon Lottery fund many programs that benefit everyone in the state, and we’ve been a proud partner with the Oregon Lottery since the very beginning.”

The Powerball has not been won since January 1st, when a ticket sold in Michigan resulted in a $842.4 million jackpot. 

Powerball is a multi-state jackpot operated by 44 states, plus the District of Columbia (D.C.), the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico, according to the Oregon Lottery.

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