Jackpot! Oregon Police Department Wins Lottery Claim

When Christina Goodenow was awarded the proceeds of a $1 million scratch-off lottery ticket, she never dreamed the money would slip through her fingers and into the hands of the Medford Police Department. The ordeal began when 45-year-old Goodenow stole the identity of her boyfriend’s deceased mother and used her Visa card to make $12,000 in purchases. She also picked up a Million Dollar Jackpot ticket, which turned out to be a winner. The $1 million was to be paid in 20 installments of $50,000 a year, but by the time police discovered the crime, Goodenow had already spent $33,500 of the first installment. She was charged with aggravated theft, forgery and cheating. Goodenow pleaded no contest and was sentenced to probation. As part of her sentencing, the lottery money was forfeited to the Medford Police Department under a ruling that police agencies in Oregon can collect money gained through criminal activity. Goodenow attempted to keep her winnings by filing an appeal, but the state appeals court found that she had no legitimate claim to the cash.