A quick pit stop and a spur-of-the-moment Lottery ticket purchase provided a Prineville man, on one of his first dates with his new girlfriend, with an impressive $30,000 Scratch-it win.
“We were going up the mountains to camp, and stopped to get sodas when I had some money left over,” Joe Martin said. “So I asked my new girlfriend, Dani, which Scratch-it she wanted and she said she wanted me to pick. So I picked the $3 Pirates Gold.”
Martin and Dani then got back in the car and drove up to the mountains in Central Oregon to hike and take pictures.
“She was taking a picture of a butterfly near a campfire and I was sitting there and scratched the ticket,” he said. “When I saw the 3, I thought I had won my money back, then I saw a bunch of zeroes. When I saw the comma I said ‘NO WAY!’ We both looked at it and knew it was a winner.”
Martin said for the rest of the day all he could say was “Dude” and giggle uncontrollably.
“I kept trying to tell my friends, but I could get any words out,” he said. “It was a euphoric feeling. My friends are reading the ticket and couldn’t believe I won. When we scratched and saw the bar code everyone started to think it was legit.”
When the couple got back to the store to scan the ticket, they realized they had really won.
“I was jumping and whooping and freaking out,” he said. “The clerk had me sign the back of the ticket immediately.”
The couple purchased the ticket at the Main Station Express on Main Street in Prineville. There are still two top $30,000 prizes available for the $3 Pirate’s Gold Scratch-it.
Martin said he was going to put his winnings into his business, which features selling glass art.
“We can get more artists and a better space now,” he said.
During the 2015-17 biennium in Crook County, where Martin lives and purchased the ticket, more than $6.4 million in Oregon Lottery proceeds were directed to economic development, parks, education and watershed enhancement.
Lottery officials recommend that you always sign the back of your tickets with each Oregon Lottery game you play, to ensure you can claim any prize you may win. In the event of winning a jackpot, players should consult with a trusted financial planner or similar professional to develop a plan for their winnings. Prize winners of more than $50,000 should contact the Lottery office to schedule an appointment to claim their prize.
Since the Oregon Lottery began selling tickets on April 25, 1985, it has earned more than $11 billion for economic development, public education, state parks and watershed enhancements. For more information on the Oregon Lottery visit www.oregonlottery.org