Laos-born US immigrant battling cancer bags $1.3bn Powerball jackpot

Laos-born US immigrant battling cancer bags $1.3bn Powerball jackpot

Powerball winner battling cancer looks forward find ‘good doctor’ with prize. — People

Cheng “Charlie” Saephan, a 46-year-old immigrant from Laos, won a whopping $1.3 billion Powerball jackpot on Monday as he continues his eight-year battle with cancer.

In a news conference, the Portland resident said that he and his 37-year-old wife, Duanpen, would split the prize evenly with a friend.

Charlie said that his 55-year-old friend Laiza Chao had chipped in $100 to buy a batch of tickets with them. 

According to NBC News, they are taking a lump sum payment of $422 million after taxes.

“I will be able to provide for my family and my health,” he said, adding that he’d “find a good doctor for myself”.

Saephan said he was born in Laos and moved to Thailand in 1987, before immigrating to the United States in 1994. 

He attended the news conference wearing a sash identifying himself as an Iu Mien, a southeast Asian ethnic group with southern Chinese roots.

Tens of thousands of Iu Mien people live along the West Coast, with a significant community in Portland.

Saephan graduated from high school in 1996 and has lived in Portland for 30 years. He worked as a machinist for an aerospace company.

The Oregon Lottery conducted a security and vetting process before revealing the winner.

The jackpot, valued at $621 million before taxes, is subject to federal taxes and state taxes in Oregon.

The $1.3 billion prize is the fourth largest Powerball jackpot in history, according to the Oregon Lottery.

The biggest US lottery jackpot won was $2.04 billion in California in 2022.

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