Mill City Retiree Claims $1 Million Powerball Prize

Posted on October 19, 2023

Salem, Ore. –  A Mill City man claimed his $1 million Powerball win this week with a ticket from the October 9 drawing. Thomas Willard, 77, said he plays when the jackpots grow to large amounts and only missed the record prize by one number – the Powerball.

“At our age, this is just about right,” Willard said of the $1 million win that will be enjoyed with his wife of 49 years, Nancy.

The couple plans to buy a new pick-up truck and a riding scooter for Nancy to get around easier. They bought their winning ticket at the 7 Star Convenience Store in Mill City. The business will receive a $10,000 commission for selling the prize.

Nancy discovered the win by checking their numbers online the morning following the drawing. She initially thought they had won $100,000 but realized it was the $1 million prize and told her husband, “Wake up, you have to see this!”

The second-largest Powerball jackpot of $1.765 billion was won by a California player in the October 11 drawing. Since the jackpot run up began on July 22, smaller prizes won in Oregon total $7.75 million. Approximately a third of sales from Powerball will be returned to state beneficiaries to support economic development, education, veteran services, state parks and more.

Powerball is a multi-state jackpot operated by 45 states, plus the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. The largest prize won in Oregon was a $340 million jackpot in 2005.

The Oregon Lottery recommends that you always sign the back of your ticket to ensure you can claim your prize. 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. Players have a year to claim their prize.

Since the Oregon Lottery began selling tickets on April 25, 1985, it has earned nearly $15.5 billion for economic development, public education, outdoor school, state parks, veteran services, and watershed enhancements. For more information on the Oregon Lottery visit

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