'BOOM! I won!' 94-year-old Air Force veteran wins $6.5 million Megabucks prize

Oregon Game Megabucks sample ticket - photo courtesy Oregon Lottery

SALEM, Ore. – A 94-year-old Air Force veteran almost threw away a winning lottery ticket, but instead, he double checked it and learned he won $6.5 million.

William Bowker purchased the winning Oregon’s Game Megabucks ticket at Jackson’s Food Store on Southeast 82nd Avenue in Happy Valley.

On Aug. 2, he discovered he was a winner.

Bowker said his granddaughter visited and checked his lottery tickets. When she looked at them, she accidentally compared the numbers from his Megabucks ticket to the Mega Millions numbers and they didn’t think it amounted to anything.

Then, Bowker went back and had another look at the numbers. He soon realized their mistake.

“I immediately thought – BOOM! I won!” he said.

It turns out the line of numbers on the ticket included the winning numbers.

The first thing Bowker did was call a family meeting to discuss the prize and how to use it. His daughter is a tax attorney and Bowker plans to share his prize among his family members.

Bowker chose to take the bulk sum payment of $3.25 million. After taxes, he took home $2.2 million.

“I have what I need, and I’m 94,” he said. “This is a wonderful way to help my family.”

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