94-year-old war vet nearly threw out ticket for $6.5M lottery jackpot. Picture:
94-year-old war vet nearly threw out ticket for $6.5M lottery jackpot. Picture:

94-year-old nearly threw away $9.5m

A 94-year-old air force veteran nearly blew a chance to become a multi-millionaire - but took home the big bucks after double-checking tickets his granddaughter thought were losers.

William Bowker, who has played Oregon's Game Megabucks since its launch in 1985, won a $US6.5 million ($A9.5 million) jackpot on Friday after taking a second look at his tickets that his granddaughter mistakenly thought were for the Mega Millions draw, according to state lottery officials.



"She got done, and later, I thought I should double-check it before throwing it away," Mr Bowker said. "I am glad I did. I immediately thought - BOOM! I won!"

An overjoyed Mr Bowker then called for a family powwow before deciding to split the winnings among his relatives. He opted to take the lump-sum payment of $3.25 million ($A4.8 million).

Mr Bowker, who used quick-pick numbers, bought the $US5 ($A7.30) ticket at a grocery store in Happy Valley, near where he and his wife, Jean, live in a double-wide trailer in Milwaukie. They have no plans to relocate. The couple's children, aged 70 and 67, also live less than two kilometres away, he told NBC's "Today" show.

"Jean and I, we're as happy as we can be," the retired pilot said. "We want to stay here. We've got neighbours and we all holler over the fence. My daughter brings dinner."

But the couple won't be saving every penny, Mr Bowker said, adding that they will buy a new car.

"Nothing fancy," he continued. "I walk with a cane, so I want to buy a car that's comfortable and easy to get in and out of. My kids are trying to talk me into a sports car!"

This article originally appeared on The New York Post and was reproduced with permission