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I’ll keep playing, says immigrant cancer patient who won $1.3bn jackpot

An immigrant who has been battling cancer for eight years considers himself ‘blessed’ after winning a $1.3 billion Powerball jackpot lottery.

Cheng ‘Charlie’ Saephan, a 46-year-old born in Laos, purchased the winning ticket at a Plaid Pantry convenience store in Portland, Oregon, USA, where he resides, in early April.

“I prayed to God to help me,” said Saephan. “My kids are young, and I’m not that healthy.”
Oregon Lottery officials revealed Saephan, who underwent chemotherapy treatment last week, as the winner on Monday.

“I am grateful for the lottery and the blessings I have received,” said Saephan at a Press conference, as reported by KOIN.

“I can now provide for my family and access better healthcare… My life has changed. Now I can support my family and afford a good doctor for myself.”

He mentioned his first plan is to purchase a home in Oregon. He also promised to keep playing because, he said, he might get lucky again.

Saephan, who has lived in Portland for 30 years, purchased 20 tickets for the drawing, relying on faith and luck.

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He and his wife, Duanpen Saephan, 37, will share the money with their friend Laiza Chao, 55, of Milwaukie, as she contributed $100 toward the tickets, he mentioned.

“I asked, ‘Laiza, where are you?’ and she replied, ‘I’m going to work,'” he recounted.

“I responded, ‘You don’t have to go anymore.'”

The prize will be divided, with 50% going to the Saephans and 50% to Chao. They chose a lump sum of $422,309,193.97 after taxes.

The winning marks the fourth-largest Powerball jackpot in history and the eighth-largest among all jackpot games in the US, according to Oregon Lottery officials.

It is also the largest prize ever won in the Beaver State, surpassing a $355 million jackpot in 2005.

“I want to extend my heartfelt congratulations to the Saephans and Ms. Chao on this historic win,” stated Oregon Lottery Director Mike Wells.

“Not only is the prize life-changing for the three of them and their families, it’s also a significant win for the state.”

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Cheng expressed that he will continue to purchase lottery tickets. “I might get lucky again,” he said. “I’ll keep playing.”

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