GRANTS PASS, Ore. — An emergency grocery run netted one Grants Pass man a $175,000 payout after he forgot to bring home tortillas from Safeway.
Matthew Clark, a retired UPS driver, told the Oregon Lottery that he had just gotten home with groceries when he realized his grave mistake — forgetting to pick up tortillas.
“My wife told me to go to Safeway and get them,” he said. “And of course, I got caught behind people with tons of stuff in their baskets. So, while I waited I bought a Scratch-it.”
After picking up the vaunted tortillas at the 7th Street Safeway, Clark said that he scratched his $20 "Winter Ca$h" ticket while sitting in his truck. He was dumbfounded by what he saw next.
“I started shaking,” he said. “I had to take a minute so I could drive home safely.”
Clark had won one of the two top prizes for that kind of ticket, $25,000 per year for 10 years. Clark and his wife Kateri decided to take a lump sum payment of $175,000 instead of the installments. Oregon Lottery said that they took home $119,000 after taxes.
“We are pretty simple people and we are going to be smart with the money,” Clark said. “We had a bunch of home remodeling planned, and this money will go toward that. I think the first thing we are going to do is a kitchen remodel, then we will invest some of the prize.”
Lottery officials recommend that ticket buyers always sign the back of the ticket to ensure the ability to claim any prizes won.
"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," Oregon Lottery said. "Prize winners of more than $50,000 should contact the Lottery office to schedule an appointment to claim their prize."
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