Lottery winners can turn up in the most interesting, out-of-the-way places. Like Vernonia, for instance, where Ashley Smith, 24, lives with her boyfriend. Actually, it was a friend who won a $200 Oregon Lottery prize that inspired Ashley, that same evening, to pick up an Oregon Lottery Scratch-it when she was shopping for groceries at R&S Market in Vernonia, owned by Randy and Sharon Parrow. Only Ashley’s winning ticket was for a lot more than $200 — it was worth $100,000.
“The only time I really play is during the holidays when I get Scratch-its as gifts,” Smith said. “I never buy these, and then I win $100,000. I mean, I bought it in this small town here, my goodness.”
She plans to use some of her prize for her upcoming wedding, and “We haven’t really traveled anywhere,” she said. “We are exploring and seeing the best deals to go somewhere out of the country.”
“It’s life-changing money for me,” she noted, but she plans to be sensible with her windfall. “The first thing I did was pay off my student loans. We are going to invest the rest. It will give us a nice cushion.”
“We are very excited for the person who won,” the Parrows said. “We are happy it was a person from Vernonia.”