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Powerball lottery winners talk about hitting the jackpot

Nov 8, 2005, 2:28 pm

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Remember the Powerball winners from southern Oregon? Well, they almost didn't win.

When Carolyn West's parents asked her if she wanted to "go in" on a Powerball ticket, her husband told her not to waste her money. She didn't listen to him, and it turned out to be a decision worth millions.

"I told my wife we never win at that, let's go up to Seven Feathers and play some blackjack and have a good evening, but she has a mind of her own so she whispered to her dad and mom, 'go ahead, we'll go in with you,' and the rest is history," Steve West said during an interview Monday.

The two couples — Steve and Carolyn West and Bob and Frances Cheney — will split the $340 million jackpot. They plan to cash in the ticket in on Tuesday at the Oregon Lottery headquarters in Salem.

Carolyn West said she feels relieved that she and her husband won't have to worry about paying for a college education for their children.

When asked what they'll do if their kids develop an appetite for expensive gifts, the couple said they've already addressed that.

"We've already told them Christmas is going to be just like it's always been…we're not going to change anything," Steve West said.

After taxes, the money would come to $7.6 million a year for 30 years or a lump sum of $110 million.

The families live in the small town of Jacksonville, where they bought the winning ticket last month.

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