MEDFORD, Ore. – A Medford man says it's a "distinct possibility" that his family holds the winning ticket to the record $340 million Powerball (search) jackpot.
Steve West told the Mail Tribune (search) newspaper late Thursday that his children might have let it slip to high school classmates that the family has had some extraordinary luck.
"We did purchase some tickets," West told the newspaper. "It's OK to say that one of the tickets was a winning ticket."
When pressed to say if it was the $340 million ticket, West said: "As far as we're concerned, it's a distinct possibility."
West refused to reveal his age or occupation. He said the family would talk about its possible lottery winnings after he talks to a lawyer next week.
"I want to leave it vague," West said. "There's a lot of scary things that I've heard. We're trying to be as careful as possible."
Oregon Lottery officials said Thursday that the jackpot ticket was bought at one of two sites in the small southern Oregon town of Jacksonville, which is just west of Medford. No one has contacted the lottery to claim the massive jackpot.
One of 49 runner-up tickets was also sold in Jacksonville. Todd and Beth Zitzner of Jacksonville claimed that $853,492 prize.
If the Wests have won, they have a year to formally claim the Powerball prize at lottery headquarters in Salem, said lottery spokesman Chuck Baumann said.
Most winners show up within a couple of weeks, he said.
Then again, no winner has won this much money.
"This is unexplored territory," Baumann said. "As a rule, we would hope they'd take a little bit of time to talk to someone who's smarter than most people."