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Winner enjoying his near-beginner's luck

DALLAS -- In his short history of playing Powerball, Dallas resident Jeremy Bouchell spent $206 on lottery tickets.

May 29, 2012

DALLAS -- In his short history of playing Powerball, Dallas resident Jeremy Bouchell spent $206 on lottery tickets.

His return on his investment? A $1 million jackpot.

Well, actually, his prize check amounted to $670,000. Still, not too bad.

Bouchell won the jackpot on May 9 with a ticket he purchased at the Dallas Safeway. Thursday, Oregon Lottery officials held a prize presentation, which included giving Safeway a $10,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket.

Jeremy Bouchell

Jeremy Bouchell

Two weeks after claiming his prize, Bouchell said he still is in shock.

Bouchell said he found out he won in the early morning hours after the May 9 drawing. He had several tickets that he hadn't checked and decided to stop at a convenience store in Keizer to have them scanned.

The winner, of course, was the last one. When scanned, it didn't specify the amount he had won and directed him to "customer service." But it was 12:30 a.m., so no customer service center was open.

He took the ticket outside the store and looked up the winning numbers online. One set of his randomly picked numbers matched, with the exception of the Powerball. He had his girlfriend double check just to make sure.

"I said, 'This is ridiculous,'" Bouchell recalled. "I just started screaming in the parking lot. It was the most intense feeling I've ever had."

Here's the kicker: Bouchell, who is 21, only started playing Powerball one month earlier. Determined to win a large prize, he bought a $22 ticket for each Wednesday and Saturday drawing. It worked, but not before raising some concern among his friends and family.

Bouchell's father, Wayne Bouchell, said his son's friends found a collection of Powerball tickets in Bouchell's room, causing them to worry about his new twice-weekly ritual of playing the odds.

"They said `You better talk to him. He's spending too much money on lottery tickets,'" Wayne Bouchell said Thursday.

Now, Jeremy Bouchell said he is glad to be able to spend a portion of his prize money to help friends and family -- as well as buy a new car.

"I'm just happy that I'm able to do the things that I wanted to do and help people out," he said.

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