A man from Baghdad traveled across the world to claim his multi-million dollar jackpot in the Oregon lottery, local media reported yesterday. The Iraqi Kurd arrived at the lottery headquarters in Salem on December 1 and presented the winning ticket which he had purchased online. Lottery officials were persuaded not to release his name due to concerns about his safety back in Iraq, despite winners’ names being public record.
The mystery man had also reportedly bought the ticket over the Internet, despite Oregon Lottery not selling tickets online. The website he used—thelotter.com—is privately operated and based in London. It resells tickets it purchases around the world. Buying tickets in that manner is within the rules, according to the Oregon Lottery Director, Jack Roberts.
Roberts explained that the man had persuaded officials to keep his name secret for fear of his safety.
“In this case, I made the decision based on talking to the guy," he said. "I do believe that there is a personal safety risk to him and his family.”
The winner was described by Roberts as being in his 40s and speaking relatively good English. He did not want his name released due to the high risk to his family of being kidnapped or killed if it was known that he had won so much money.
He has reportedly set up a bank account in Oregon and will receive the jackpot in installments rather than in a lump sum.
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