OREGON — When the lottery jackpot went up, many Hoosier residents thought it was a fluke.
The state of Oregon, they said, didn’t have the money to spend on a lottery.
Then, two weeks ago, the state of Hoosiest States lottery, which had raised more than $1 billion, said it would double the jackpot for the next four years.
The amount was $1.3 billion.
It is the largest amount ever raised by a single lottery.
“I’m just very happy to be here,” said John Kucera, a senior vice president at the Oregon Lottery, the first lottery company in the nation to accept credit cards.
Kucera’s company is one of a handful that will accept credit card payments.
The others include the California Lottery and the Nevada Lottery.
In fact, the biggest lottery payout was not announced until after the winners were announced.
That was a surprise to many Ho-siers, said Jennifer Siegel, who is a public relations executive for the lottery.
Kocera and his wife, Linda, are among the winners of the lottery, with their total of $1 million.
It’s an unprecedented number, she said, and it’s a big boost for Hoosiness.
The lottery will pay $2 million to each of the winners, and $1 for each of their children, according to a news release from the Oregon Department of Revenue.
The agency has paid out about $4.5 million to the lottery since 2008.
Koucera said he was surprised when the lottery reached the $1-billion milestone.
He said the amount will likely increase with each additional jackpot.
Koukera said it was an unusual time to be part of the $9.6 billion lottery.
The average jackpot is $3 million, he said.
Kougas lottery will be in operation through 2021.