When Richard Leber heard the winning Oregon Lottery St. Patrick's Day Raffle numbers on the radio this morning, little did he know, he was holding the $1 million winning ticket.
"When I heard the numbers, I thought 'that's nice, someone won.' Little did I know it was me!" Leber said when he claimed his prize.
Leber had purchased five $10 St. Patrick's Day Raffle tickets at different Oregon Lottery retailers at different times to increase his chances of winning. The winning ticket was purchased on January 25 at the Plaid Pantry on Highway 212 in Clackamas.
"I have purchased Raffle tickets ever since the first Oregon Lottery Raffle was offered," Leber said.
Leber checked his tickets at a Fred Meyer and they couldn't tell him how much he won, just that it was more than $600. He picked up his wife and they drove to the Oregon Lottery's Wilsonville Payment Center, where he found out he had won $1 million. The Wilsonville Payment Center only pays prizes under $50,000.
"Because we had to go to Salem to claim, the trip from Wilsonville to Salem we were very careful," he said. "By the time we got to Salem, I was shaking."
Leber, a Vietnam Veteran, said each year he makes a sojourn to the Riverside National Cemetery in California to visit three of his friends who were killed during the war.
"I joined the Marines with one of them," he said. "So I go and visit them each year and make the trip. We are brothers."
Now he plans to make a vacation of the trip and visit his brother in Arizona and ride his Harley Davidson motorcycle in the Laughlin River Run.
"I have been riding since 1969 so I will be buying a new Harley with the money," he said. "It is going to be so nice to be debt free with this money."
Leber's prize after taxes was approximately $670,000.