Portland Man Strikes $1B Powerball Windfall, Triumphs Over Cancer Battle


In an awe-inspiring turn of events, the holder of a record-setting Powerball ticket has stepped into the global spotlight. Cheng “Charlie” Saephan, a resident of Portland, Oregon was handed a windfall of over $1 billion.

The thrilling pronouncement was made by the Oregon Lottery in a special event in Salem on April 29th. The lottery ticket purchased by Saephan, a 46-year-old former machinist, and his 37-year-old wife, Duanpen, commanded an astonishing sum of $1.326 billion. This signifies the largest ever lottery jackpot in the history of Oregon. Kindheartedly, the couple declared their intention to share this monumental fortune with a helpful friend, Laiza Chao, 55, whose contribution of $100 for ticket purchases played a crucial part in their victory.

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Overcome with gratitude, Saephan held a humble stance as he accepted his winnings at the Oregon Lottery’s headquarters. Amid the clamor and bustle of the event, he gave thanks to their divine fortune, “First, I want to thank God for giving me this beautiful prize,” he said.

Saephan’s life story is imbued with a richness that goes well beyond his windfall. Originally hailing from Laos, he relocated to Thailand in 1987 and later found his home in the United States in 1994. For three decades, Portland has been his home, where he raised two vibrant children. His ethnic roots, represented by a sash featuring his Iu Mien heritage, carried a poignant symbolism on the day of his reception, showing his steadfast ties to his cultural heritage.

In a sobering twist to the jubilant occasion, Saephan revealed he is currently facing a battle with cancer. Undaunted, his spirit shone through, “How am I going to have time to spend all of this money?” he jocosely queried. Despite receiving chemotherapy treatment a week prior, his resolve remained unbroken. He acknowledged the impact of his winnings on his future, “My life has been changed. Now I can bless my family and hire a good doctor for myself.”

In addition to his wife Duanpen, he had a steadfast comrade in their friend, Chao, who had spent $200 with them on the road to their lottery triumph. Prior to their big win, Saephan nurtured a nightly ritual where he would pray for their victory and even stowed the lottery numbers under his pillow, entrusting his dream for a brighter future for his family to the lottery gods.

Further sweeping through the currents of this phenomenal tale, the sixth man of this narrative — the Plaid Pantry store — that sold the momentous ticket is also riding high on its own luck of a $100,000 bonus.

The sheer scale of the win has sent a buzz throughout the state. Oregon Lottery Director, Mike Wells, was eager to celebrate the heartfelt win, stating it to be an astonishing victory not just for the winning trio and their families, but also a tremendous success for the state itself.

The win in context, an astounding eighth largest in the nation’s history, is set to change the trajectory of these three lives forever. Indeed, Chao’s quip holding the lottery tickets, “We’re billionaires,” seems to have been a hunch powered by fate. Opting for an immediate payment instead of a 30-year annuity option, the winners were paid a fortune worth $422,309,193.97, after deducting state and federal taxes. The scales of luck have certainly tipped in favor of Saephan and Co., transforming their lives in a sweep of numbers and destiny.