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Retired Spokane veteran wins $5.4M lottery jackpot

The almost 60-year-old winner was so shocked to learn he had won big he triple checked his ticket before claiming his prize.

SPOKANE, Wash. — The winner of the $5.4 million jackpot has been announced as a 59-year-old retired army veteran from Spokane. 

The winner, identified only as "Ken," served 29 years in the Army, walked into the City Food Mart on Ash and 2nd on Aug. 11 to buy his routine lottery ticket. Ken likes routine but this day he did things a little differently. 

Usually he fills his lottery numbers ahead of time. Kent couldn't find his prewritten slip and rather than hold up the line of customers, he let the computer pick this time. 

Ken was prepared to get back to his ordinary routine until he heard that someone in Spokane had won the jackpot. He went to check his ticket against the winning numbers. 

Ken checked the numbers on TV. He checked the paper. He checked his ticket. They all matched. The date was right and the numbers were right, but he still wasn’t convinced. Ken said he wanted to avoid getting his hopes up before he found out there was a mistake. 

“Sometimes when I’ve played before, I’ve thought I’ve won something, but when I double checked the numbers, they were for the drawing the day before or something like that,” he said.

“I’ve won $150 before and once won $1,000 maybe 15 years ago, but I never thought I’d win a jackpot. I thought this just has to be wrong,” he said.    

Ken decided to triple-check his ticket.  He drove to a local gas station near his home and scanned his ticket at one of the lottery vending machines. 

“I definitely held my breath when I scanned the ticket,” added Ken. “But after seeing what it said on the screen, I took a few deep breaths, put the ticket back in my pocket and walked out to my car as calmly as possible.” 

Ken doesn't have any big plans for the money at the moment, just a few house repairs and a nice dinner with his brothers.