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Cheng “Charlie” Saephan has been battling cancer for eight years and said he can now bless his family and find a good doctor. (KPTV via CNN Newsource)

US: Cancer patient wins $1.3 billion jackpot

May 1, 2024

By Kaila Nichols, CNN

(CNN) — An Oregon man who says he’s been battling cancer for eight years and received chemotherapy just last week is among three winners of this month’s $1.3 billion Powerball jackpot.

Cheng “Charlie” Saephan said he is sharing the prize with his wife, Duanpen Saephan, and friend Laiza Chao. The trio chose the cash option of over $422 million after taxes. Chao will receive 50% of the earnings and the Saephans will each take 25%.

“I’m happy for my family. They will have a good life,” Cheng Saephan, 46, said Monday at an Oregon Lottery news conference. “But to myself, I’m in the middle of battling cancer, so I’m thinking, ‘How am I going to have time to spend all this money?’”

Saephan said he plans to live a “normal” life moving forward and buy his family a “dream home.”

This was the fourth-largest jackpot in history, according to Powerball. The historic April 6 drawing was delayed for more than three hours to give additional time needed to complete pre-draw procedures. This win was also the largest Powerball prize won in Oregon.

The winning ticket was sold at a Plaid Pantry convenience store in Portland, according to the Oregon Lottery. The store receives a $100,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket.

Saephan, a native of Laos who has lived in Portland for 30 years, said the winning numbers were computer-generated using the Quick Pick option.

“God picked for me,” he said.

When Saephan discovered he won, he called his friend Chao, of Milwaukie, Oregon, who had given him $100 toward buying the lottery tickets.

“She’s driving on the way to work,” Saephan said. “And I told her, ‘You don’t have to go work now. We won the lottery. We won the jackpot.’”

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