A standard rule of thumb for draw-style lottery players should be: check your tickets right away. The story of a recent Oregon Powerball winner is further proof of that.
The woman from Bend carried a Powerball ticket around in her purse worth a million dollars for over two weeks unknowingly. When she finally checked it, she likely regretted waiting so long to do so.
Details on the latest Oregon Powerball winner
It’s uncertain if Shelley Arnold was carrying the same purse with her when she bought the quick-pick ticket at the Safeway on South Century Drive on July 26. Either way, that was the best investment of her life so far.
Her ticket matched all five numbers in the July 29 drawing. She missed out on the Powerball, however, limiting her prize to just the million before taxes.
Last Wednesday, she claimed her prize. Although she has not expressed what she will do with the money, her story is a reminder of why lottery players should always check their tickets. Arnold said:
“The funny part is that I had that ticket just lying in my purse for weeks. I didn’t even realize I had a $1 million ticket sitting in there.”
While Arnold still had plenty of time to collect her prize, she ran the risk of unwittingly disposing of the winning ticket for days. Checking your ticket is free and you can do so online from the safety of your home if you wish.
That’s a comforting thought amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. For that same reason, lottery winners in Oregon should be aware of some new wrinkles to the prize collection procedures.
New policies for claiming lottery prizes in OR
Due to the pandemic, the claim centers in Salem and Wilsonville are closed to the public for walk-in traffic. As always, you can claim a prize of $600 or less at any lottery retailer.
If you won a prize of more than $600 but no more than $50,000, the lottery recommends submitting your claim via mail. Just sign the back of your ticket, put it in an envelope with a completed claim form and address the envelope to:
PO Box 14515
Salem, OR 97309
The lottery recommends using registered mail. Additionally, the claim must include the original ticket. The lottery will not accept photocopies.
If you’ve really struck it big like Arnold and the value of your prize is over $50,000, call the lottery at 503-540-1000 to schedule an appointment at the Salem claim center. The lottery staff will give you instructions on the call.
Hopefully, all future Oregon lottery winners of prizes of that size won’t take weeks to claim their prizes like Arnold did. It’s a classic example of better safe than sorry.