The odds proved very profitable for two freshman in the start of this fall semester. Last month, Freshman Jack Lent and his friend (who would like to remain anonymous) won $5,000 from a single Scratch-It lottery ticket bought at the 7-Eleven on 28th and Steele.
At midnight on Sept. 11, Lent and several others bought the $20 ticket as a birthday present for his friend. According to Lent, his friend prefaced their opening of the ticket by joking: “Before we scratch it, if we win anything over $1,000, can we split it?”
Before she even finished scratching the ticket, the freshman realized she had won $5,000.
“The birthday girl screams – we all scream – and she tackles me down on the asphalt,” Lent says. “We just stand there freaking out. We go back inside to maybe cash it in, and the clerk tells us to get out because you have to drive up to the capitol to cash in amounts over 500 dollars. We go back to the Grove, belligerent and high on life. The CSO there walks up, and tells us we were so loud that she could hear us all the way back to the bridge.”
Coincidentally, Lent’s mother already planned beforehand to fly in from his hometown in Modesto, California one day after the win to come visit. He says of his parents’ reaction: “My parents are convinced that I am the absolute luckiest person when it comes to any kind of gambling. Not even surprised, my mom started laughing and said, ‘You know what? That would happen to you!’ And my dad didn’t even shrug: ‘Yup. That would happen to you.’”
After coming back from Salem with a tax-free check, Lent and his friend split it evenly. The friend decided to save the money for a road trip next summer across West Coast national parks. Lent, on the other hand, decided to immediately buy a tailored suit and host a lively get-together in the Reed College Apartments last weekend. He still holds about half the earnings.
“If I had won and kept the full, I would’ve saved it to go study abroad,” Lent says. “$2,500 isn’t really enough to do anything extravagant, but it’s enough to do something stupid.”
While Lent was given a day or so of personal fame following his win, he likes to believe it was a more collective victory, as he “used the money for others to try to know each other better.”