Lottery Director Jack Roberts confirmed that revealing his name could lead to a security risk to his family at home. Although the identities of lottery winners are made public through state law, Roberts explained to Oregonlive.com, “In this case, I made the decision based on talking to the guy...I would hope that people would respect the reasons for not giving the name. It's not going to mean anything to them, but it could to someone halfway around the world."
The Oregon Lottery does not sell tickets on the internet, but The Lotter, the firm from which the man purchased his entry, sends locally-based agents to retailers on behalf of its online customers. The agents play the numbers requested by the client for a range of big-money lotteries across the world and scan and upload the tickets to their account as proof of purchase. In this case, the winning slip was bought in Bend on the day of the draw.
Roberts stated that he took advice on the legality of the concierge system and was assured the man had acted legally, allowing him to collect his prize in installments over 25 years. However, he did admit there might be questions over whether the UK-based website breaches the ban on online gambling in the US. The Iraqi man is said to be the first person from overseas to scoop the top prize on Megabucks, although there are no restrictions on foreign nationals winning on any of Oregon’s lottery games.
The winner, said to be in his mid-40s and with reasonably good English, set up a bank account in the state, into which his first chunk of $256,000 ($158,720, after a tax deduction of 38 percent), was deposited by the lottery.
Judy Bell-Putis, owner of the shop that sold the winning ticket admitted she was surprised to hear about the mysterious winner. Her business will receive $64,000 as a reward for selling the entry.