What city is luckiest when it comes to Megabucks?
In the past five years, 24 tickets have won the Oregon's Game Megabucks grand prize. In some cases, winners had to share the $1 million or greater grand prize.
People who bought tickets in Jackson County had the best luck, according to a review by the Pamplin/EO Capital Bureau of addresses where winning tickets were sold in the past five years.
Quick Pick tickets — in which numbers are randomly generated by a computer at the store — were more likely to win than when players selected their own numbers. Only five out of 42 winners in the past five years had manually-selected numbers. Three were unknown, and the other 37 were Quick Pick tickets.
A majority of winners — 25 — bought tickets outside of the Portland metro area. Only 17 tickets in that five-year period were sold at stores in the Portland metro area, including Portland, Milwaukie, Beaverton and Sherwood.
In the metro area, Portland, the state's population center, unsurprisingly had the greatest number of winning tickets — nine in those five years. Beaverton had four, Milwaukie, two, and Sherwood, two. Salem, the state's second largest city, had five winners — one each year. Eugene, the state's third largest city, had no winners during that five-year period, though neighboring Springfield had one.
Interestingly, 2014 was a lucky year for Jackson County. That year, only tickets sold at two separate stores in Medford and at the Albertsons in Ashland won the grand prize.
In the five-year period, Albany, Prineville, Boardman, Bend, Warrenton, Coburg and Sandy had one winner apiece.
The last winning tickets were sold at a Plaid Pantry at North Going in Portland and at the Sandy Liquor Store. Those winners split the $9 million grand prize.
Northeast Portland resident Tarver Hannant, an amputee whom months earlier Willamette Week had profiled for a story on the high cost of health care, was one of those two winners.
He opted for a one-time cash payment and received about $1.5 million of the $4.5 million after taxes were subtracted.
That was the third time in 2017 a Plaid Pantry store in the Portland metro area has sold a Lottery ticket worth $1 million or more, according to a news release at the time by the Lottery. The news release stated that a Plaid Pantry in Clackamas sold a winning $1 million Raffle ticket, and in May, a Portland store near Oregon Health Science University Hospital from the Beaverton-based convenience store chain sold a $1 million Powerball ticket.
Megabucks drawings are held every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday at 7:29 p.m. The Lottery draws six numbers from a set of 48. Players get two sets of numbers for each $1 they play. Winners have one year to claim their prizes.
Megabucks is one of several games the Lottery has offered since it started in 1985. The Lottery has paid out $28 billion in prizes since then. It also is the state's second largest source of revenue after income taxes and has contributed more than $9 billion toward public education, economic development, state parks and watershed projects.