Could the $340 million jackpot be invalid?

Lottery_logoTucked into a story earlier this week about Oregon's $340 million jackpot, the biggest Powerball jackpot ever, was this little tidbit:

[Lottery spokesman Chuck] Baumann said he was also calling to investigate rumors that the winning ticket was bought by a 17-year-old, which would violate Oregon law.

If true, it would trigger an investigation of the retailer, believed to be Ray’s Food Place in Jacksonville. “I don’t think it would have jeopardized the prize,’’ Baumann said.

Steve West said the ticket was purchased by an adult, but he didn’t name the buyer.

But in another case this week, that of a ticket purchased with a stolen credit card, the authorities ruled it would invalidate the prize.

A Southern Oregon woman used a stolen credit card to buy a state lottery scratch-it ticket that was worth $1 million, police said. ... If convicted, [Christina] Goodenow will not be able to collect the prize money because fraud was used to purchase the winning ticket, police said.

One great thing about blogs is that collective knowledge and skills of our audience can be brought to bear on tough questions.

The questions:
* If the lottery ticket was purchased by a minor, would it invalidate the ticket?
* If purchased by a minor, would it constitute some other crime?
* If the ticket were to be invalid, would the $340 million go back into the current jackpot? Or would it go to the state(s) - either Oregon or all the Powerball states?

OK, BlueOregonians, dig in. Help us figure this out.


  • geno (unverified)

    I presume perusal of the ORS provisions on "lottery proceeds" and fraud should do the trick. More fascinating is whether a conflict of statutes exists among the participant states. (I would hope there is uniformity)

    Some Saturday afternoon research?? I think not. But good luck in your quest.
  • Ron Ledbury (unverified)

    Some contracts made by minors are voidable, but only by the minor. The adults get stuck with their deals and bargains.

    The restriction on minor's participation is intended for the benefit of the minor, not as a heightened punishment, from nothing to something.

    Perhaps the retailer's cut could (and would) be cut. (ORS 461.600)

    If I found a ticket on the ground would it matter whether the buyer was under age or had sold a baggy of contraband or had cut themselves a cushy deal for a retroactive pay increase. It seems that it is just like a bearer bond, until signed.

    Ah. Could they demand that the 17 year old gets the money, but that it should be held in trust until they reach 18. It would be unfair for them to give up their claim to an adult just because the state would otherwise stand there ready to swoop in to take it all away. Additionally, who gets to make the choice, on behalf of the 17 year old, as to whether to take it all at once or to get it over a term of years?

    Invert the inquiry. Could a 17 year old, one who had lost, demand return of their investment (gamble)?

  • Tom Craley (unverified)

    The retailer should be fined for selling to a minor. The340 million should be put back in the pot.

  • Sparkling (unverified)

    I'm not a Lawyer, I haven't been to Law School, I'm not interested in debating legal clauses & statues. But it seems to me that more and more laws are being used to punish, control, and remove privledges from the population; less and less to actually protect, grant freedoms, proclaim liberty or enable people to persue proverbial American Dream. I've seen laws used more and more to find ways of stealing, yes legal thieving, from the common people for the benefit of the rich corporations and the government. If the states get their way, lawyers representing every state government in the Powerball lottery will be vying for that $340 million jackpot and the poor bloke who bought the ticket will see his dreams snatched right out from his hands. They will all cry the legality of the issue, when in fact they are outright stealing. That is not how the lottery is supposed to work - you buy a ticket, you win, the government takes it. Sorry, whatever you want to call it that is still stealing.

    I almost never buy lottery tickets. Maybe twice a year. I know that the odds of winning are somewhat less than the chance of being struck by lightning on a clear day. But still, it's fun to dream isn't it? And someone does win. Or so I've been told. My husband and I bought $5 worth for that $340 mil drawing. We have a lot of bills we wanted to pay off, I have a game development company I'm trying to run on a strictly volunteer staff (I'd really like to be able to pay them!), and I had this idea of setting up a "Pro-Child Fund" which would benefit adoptions and crisis pregnancies. I thought maybe if I had a plan to use the money for good that I would win. But I didn't. I've been wondering what the person who DID win had used, or planned to use, the money for. Was it for a cause more noble than helping orphans and unborn babies? I hope so. Was it to start a business in greater need of funding than my own? I hope so. Do I think the State would use the money more wisely? No.

    I think the person who bought the ticket should get the money. That's the way it is supposed to work. Fair. Plain. Simple.

    To he who is without sin, let them cast the first stone.

    Blessings to you, -Sparkling

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