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May-31-2018 20:50printcomments

Vernonia Woman Wins Big in Oregon Lottery

“It’s life-changing money for me,” said the winner.

Lottery winner

(SALEM, Ore.) - It’s normal for an Oregon Lottery retailer from Vernonia to sell a customer from Vernonia a ticket. What’s not normal is when that ticket is worth $100,000.

24-year old Ashley Smith, who lives in Vernonia with her boyfriend, heard from a friend at work about how they had won a $200 Oregon Lottery prize. Later that evening, while Smith was picking up groceries at the R&S Market, she saw Oregon Lottery Scratch-its and decided to pick one up.

And $100,000 later, she’s glad she did.

“The only time I really play is during the holidays when I get Scratch-its as gifts,” Smith said. “I never buy these and then I win $100,000. I mean, I bought it in this small town here, my goodness.”

Part of her winnings will be used for her wedding, she said. But she wasn’t going to spend too much money on the nuptials, opting to “be smart” with most of the prize.

“It’s life-changing money for me,” she said. “The first thing I did was pay off my student loans. We are going to invest the rest. It will give us a nice cushion.”

Officials with the R&S Market said they were very happy a local won the big prize.

“We are very excited for the person who won,” said Randy and Sharon Parrow, owners of the R&S Market. “We are happy it was a person from Vernonia. We always thank everyone who shops at the R&S Market.”

In the last few years, the market also sold a $20,000 winning Scratch-it in 2016.

Smith said she was still in shock about the win, and that she and her soon-to-be husband would like to also try to use the win for some travel.

“We haven’t really travelled anywhere,” she said. “We are exploring and seeing the best deals to go somewhere out of the country.”

During the 2015-17 biennium in Columbia County, where Smith lives and purchased the ticket, more than $10 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.

Sources: Oregon Lottery; Google maps

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