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Medford Families Win Powerball Jackpot

In October 2005, Bob Chaney was retired and living with his wife, Francis, in Jacksonville. The Chaney’s daughter, Carolyn, and their son-in-law, Medford landscaper Steve West, were living in a modest Medford home.

 
On Oct. 19, 2005, Steve West and Bob Chaney bought a $40 lottery ticket that hit the largest single-ticket Powerball jackpot in history: $340 million paid in installments. They decided on a lump-sum cash award of nearly $165 million and received $110 million after state and federal taxes.
 
Early the next year, the Wests moved four miles away to a 6,400-square-foot home on six acres.  They also bought new cars, including a BMW convertible for him and a silver BMW for her. Bob Chaney’s first big purchase was a canary-yellow Hummer, and then a French country-style house just down the road from the Wests’ new home. 
 
Fond of her friends at work, Carolyn West continued to work as a bookkeeper. And both families established substantial foundations ranking among the top 10 in Southern Oregon. They remembered where they had been and wanted to improve the lives of others.

 
 
 
Sources: Lemon, Sarah. "Giving Back." Mail Tribune 31 May 2007 [Medford, Ore.] . Web. 19 Oct. 2013.
 

Dennis M. Powers was a business law attorney with various real estate and business ventures before teaching as a full professor and later professor emeritus at Southern Oregon University in Ashland. He is a graduate of the University of Colorado (b.a.), the University of Denver Law School (j.d.), and Harvard Business School (m.b.a.).