Truck Driver Wins $9.4 Million But Plans to Keep on Truckin'by Jana Ritter - Published: 9/07/2016
Would you continue truck driving if you won the lottery? Eric Tackett just became Oregon's 256th Megabucks millionaire winning a fat $9.4 million and yet he says he has no plans to let go of his truck driving job. In fact, the Sutherlin truck driver made sure to drop off a load of drywall as scheduled before he went into Salem to collect his winnings. "It was on the way," he explains nonchalantly.
January 05, 2018 - Trucker Faces 20 Years After Pleading Guilty To Smuggling Alien Found Dead In Locked Toolbox
January 02, 2018 - Police Identify 2 Oregon Truck Drivers Killed In Fiery Head-On Crash
December 27, 2017 - Iowa First Of Eight States To Debut New Truck Parking Information System
For the last 17 years, Tackett has driven for Smalley Trucking Company hauling loads of steel up and down 1-5. Three years ago he married his wife Beth and since then she has been riding along with him. Life on the road is something they both enjoy together and they’ve became familiar faces along their route making frequent stops at places such as the Coburg TA Truck Stop. Little did they know that their recent visit to the truck stop and decision to buy their lottery ticket there would lead them to become instant millionaires and local celebrities. “We know the lady who sold us the ticket," says Tackett. "When she finds out she is going to freak out."
The owners of the truck stop will also “freak out” because the store automatically receives a 1-percent selling bonus ($94,000) for selling the winning ticket. Tackett bought the ticket for $5 and it had one set of numbers matching all six winning numbers and another set matching three, which also made him eligible for another free Megabucks ticket. Of course he obviously didn’t need the free ticket this time. "Normally I win free tickets. I thought everyone was messing with me when they told me I won $9.4 million. I had Beth check the ticket more than 50 times on different computers and phones," he explains. Tackett decided to take the lump sum cash payment option, and after taxes are said and done, he will actually walk away with closer to $3 million. Still millions more than he walked in with.
A few years North Carolina truck driver David Harris experienced a similar fate winning a whopping $10 million prize. Interestingly, he too had no plans to leave the trucking industry. Instead, his plans were to invest some of his earnings into buying his own truck and hiring someone to drive for him. Harris had also bought his winning ticket at a stop along his regular route, the EP Mart on Old Marriage Road in Rocky Mount, NC. He pulled in to get some coffee and decided to buy a $30 ticket. “I saw the dollar icon, so I knew I had won something. I scratched, saw the 10. I was smoking a cigarette and my mouth just flew wide open,” he said.