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Legacy retailer lucky for Oregon couple

Craig & Vanessa Ottinger

Drawing Date: 10/16/2020

December 16, 2020 - Vanessa Ottinger of Tigard, Ore., was checking her Mega Millions tickets when it hit her, was that last ticket four numbers, or five?

Taking a closer look, she realized she had matched five numbers. Before getting too excited, she handed the ticket to her husband, Craig.

“What, did we win a million bucks?” Craig asked her.

“Yes!” was her answer.

The couple, by matching five out of five numbers, but not the Mega Ball number, on the Oct. 16 drawing, they had won $1 million playing Mega Millions. If they had also matched the Mega Ball, they would have won $77 million.

If the win was a shock for the Tigard couple, it was an even bigger shock for Sherry Daniels, owner of The King City Liquor Store. The long-time Oregon Lottery retailer has seen its share of jackpot wins, that for some reason just keep happening.

“I think I know what’s going on,” Daniels said. “My dad, Leo Stratton, owned the store before me, and we lost him about five years ago. I think he is in heaven making sure we have winners. That’s the only thing I can explain.”

The store has a history of selling jackpot tickets, but its trend has increased in recent years. The $1 million Mega Million prize will be the second time in three years the King City store has sold a ticket that won a large prize. In October 2018 the store sold a $8.5 million Oregon’s Game Megabucks ticket. And now Ottinger with her $1 million prize.

“I think people buy their tickets from us because we are very friendly, we always explain the games, and we have a history with the Lottery,” Daniels said. “My dad invented the Jackpot Trio, and we had a $23 million Oregon’s Game Megabucks winner back in the 1990s. We continue this business as his legacy, and I think he is looking down and helping us.”