Oregon friends of over 40 years split $7.4 million lottery jackpot

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Friendship has never been sweeter

By Kate Northrop

PORTLAND, Ore. — Two friends from Oregon who have shared a friendship for over 40 years are now sharing a $7.4 million Megabucks jackpot.

For 28 weeks now, Erik Maki and Brian Krahmer have been splitting the responsibility of purchasing their joint lottery tickets for the Oregon Lottery’s Megabucks game. Now they’ll be splitting a fortune to the tune of $7.4 million after hitting the jackpot for the drawing on Sat., Jan 23.

This time, it was Krahmer’s turn to buy their tickets. He visited the Cedar Mills Liquor Store on Cornell Road in Portland to purchase the lucky winning ticket.

“We always check our tickets on Monday,” Maki told the Lottery. “The best we’d done had been winning a free ticket!”

The pair, both from Hillsboro, has been the closest of friends since middle school and have even worked together for the past 25 years.

“Our offices are next door to each other, and Brian brought the ticket and said we’d won $7,400,” Maki continued. “We were pretty excited about that. Then Brian decided to check what number we’d missed, and he compared the ticket to the Lottery app. That’s when he saw that we’d matched all six numbers and we’d really won $7.4 million!”

The numbers for the Megabucks drawing on Saturday were 16, 25, 33, 35, 37, and 47. The odds of matching all six numbers are about 1 in 6.1 million.

Once they realized that their winnings were even greater than they thought, they both reached out to their wives, who were not convinced of the news.

“They didn’t believe us at first,” Krahmer admitted. “That was understandable because we both like to joke around.”

Next, the longtime friends reached out to a financial planner and CPA to make plans before collecting the big prize. Once that was squared away, they headed off on Tuesday to go claim it. After taxes, each received nearly $1.3 million.

In a press release, the Lottery also announced a temporary closure at the Salem and Wilsonville Lottery offices in order to protect the health and safety of its employees and the public. Players with a winning ticket are advised to fill out a claim form on the official Oregon Lottery website and then mail in the signed ticket and claim form.

Those who are in possession of winning tickets worth $50,000 or more should sign the back of their ticket and must make an appointment to visit the Lottery office in Salem by calling 503-540-1000.

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