The Oregon Lottery has officially seen it all
By Kate Northrop
SALEM, Ore. — Plenty of state lotteries have had to verify winning tickets that were damaged in some way, but the Oregon Lottery has not seen something quite like this before.
The Oregon Lottery is no stranger to receiving winning tickets in questionable states — from being washed in a pair of jeans to having been dropped in a mud puddle to being run over by a car — but never before have they seen a ticket ravaged by a four-legged friend.
Last week, the Lottery received a letter in the mail, only the envelope didn't just contain a winning scratch-off ticket. Alongside the torn-up ticket and its bits and pieces was a note with an accompanying picture of two Alaskan Klee Kais named "Apple" and "Jack."
Nathan and Rachael Lamet of Salem, the ones to send the envelope, have owned the dogs since they were puppies, a press release from the Lottery said. "Apple" is still just a puppy at 11 months old, while "Jack" is two years old.
Of most dogs, young and old, puppies in particular have a penchant for getting their paws on whatever they can chew to relieve discomfort during the teething phase – including lottery tickets, apparently.
"For some reason we left the ticket on the ottoman and they decided it was delicious," Rachael told the Lottery. "I went to bed, and when I woke up it was eaten to the point that I thought it was unable to be checked. But my husband thought it was hilarious and someone might get a good laugh at the very least. He said it's for sure a winner."
Thankfully, the Lottery was able to "paw-ssemble" the ticket by piecing it back together. Turns out, Nathan was right — the "delicious" ticket was a winning ticket from the $3 "Pharoah's Gold Crossword" game.
The Lamets found out that the ticket was indeed a winner, but of not much to bark home about - $8. It's not large enough to secure a vacation or a new car, but it might help the couple afford a new chew toy to redirect the dogs' attention away from those tempting scratch-off tickets.
"That's too funny," Rachael said. "We are definitely getting more chew toys, they go through a lot. We love them, but they are crazy sometimes."
Of the three top prizes of $25,000 in the "Pharoah's Gold Crossword" game, only one is left to claim. There is also one out of four second-tier prize of $1,000 remaining, as well as 18 out of 123 third-tier prizes of $100. The game went on sale in January.
The Oregon Lottery allows mail-in claims of winning lottery tickets worth up to $50,000. Claims are usually processed and paid within ten business days.