$1.3 Billion Powerball Jackpot Won by Immigrant Cancer Patient

(BrightPress.org) – An immigrant and cancer patient won the Powerball jackpot in Oregon in early April. The winner, identified as 46-year-old Cheng “Charlie” Saephan from Laos, has been fighting cancer for eight years. Saephan and his wife, Duanpen, bought lottery tickets for themselves and a family friend who contributed $100 towards the purchase of tickets. The winners decided to take the lump sum payout of $422 million after taxes.

Saephan said he slept with numbers written on paper for the upcoming drawing under his pillow and prayed to win so that he could provide for his family and do more for his own health by possibly finding a “good doctor.” Saephan called Laiza Chao, their family friend, the morning they won while she was on her way to work and told her she didn’t have to go to work anymore. The Saephans have two young children. They joked with their friend Chao about being “millionaires” the day before they knew they had the winning ticket.

The winning ticket was purchased at a Plaid Pantry convenience store in Portland, OR ending a three-month-long streak without a winner. Saephan won with a single ticket with the numbers 22, 27, 44, 52, 69, and the red Powerball 9. He says his first goal is to buy a home for his family in Oregon. He also told reporters that he will continue to play the lottery because he “might get lucky again.”

Saephan stated during a news conference that he was born in Laos but identified himself as Iu Mien. Iu Mien were mostly subsistence farmers recruited by the U.S. military during the Vietnam War to provide intelligence and surveillance used to disrupt the Ho Chi Minh Trail. After the war thousands of Iu Mien fled to Thailand. Saephan moved to Thailand in 1987 and then immigrated to the U.S. in 1984.

Saephan had his latest chemotherapy treatment last week and said he wondered “How long will I live?” after winning the lottery.

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