HomeOregon NewsPortland family and friend win fourth largest Powerball jackpot in history

Portland family and friend win fourth largest Powerball jackpot in history

Portland, Oregon – A Portland man, his wife, and a friend have made history by winning the fourth-largest Powerball jackpot. Cheng “Charlie” Saephan, 46, purchased the winning ticket for the April 6, 2024 drawing, and was the only person nationwide to match all five numbers plus the Powerball.

Prize Split Among Friends

Saephan is sharing the prize with his wife, 37-year-old Duanpen Saephan, and their friend, 55-year-old Laiza Chao, of Milwaukie. The trio decided to take the lump-sum cash option, totaling $422,309,193.97 after taxes. They will divide the winnings, with Chao receiving 50%, while the Saephans will split the remaining 50% equally between them, each receiving 25%.

Overcoming Challenges

Saephan, who has been battling cancer and is currently facing a recurrence, relied on faith and luck when purchasing over 20 tickets for the drawing. In the weeks leading up to the jackpot, he wrote the numbers 1 through 69 on a piece of paper and slept with it under his pillow. “I prayed to God to help me,” he said. “My kids are young and I’m not that healthy.”

Saephan, who was born in Laos and has lived in Portland for 30 years, said the win will allow his family to live “worry-free” in light of his health condition.

Related article: Portland store sells winning $1.3 billion Powerball ticket

Sharing the Joy

Chao contributed $100 towards the purchase of the winning tickets. After realizing he held the winning ticket, Saephan immediately called her with the exciting news. “I said, ‘Laiza, where are you?’ and she said, ‘I’m going to work,’” Saephan recalled. “I replied, ‘You don’t have to go anymore.’”

An Unprecedented Win

This victory marks the largest Powerball prize ever won in Oregon, surpassing the previous record of $340 million won in 2005. Oregon Lottery Director Mike Wells expressed his congratulations: “I want to offer my heartfelt congratulations to the Saephans and Ms. Chao on this historic win. Not only is the prize life-changing for the three of them and their families, it’s also a huge win for the state.”

A significant portion of Powerball sales goes back to state beneficiaries to fund economic development, education, veteran services, state parks, and more. The retailer who sold the winning ticket, Plaid Pantry, will receive a $100,000 bonus.

Powerball is a multi-state jackpot game played in 45 states, including the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. The Oregon Lottery advises winners to sign the back of their tickets immediately and claim their prizes within one year.

Booker Whitfield


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