Bremerton man Roehmholdt claims $1 million lottery raffle prize

Ron Roehmholdt, of Bremerton, proudly displays his $1 million check at Washington
Ron Roehmholdt, of Bremerton, proudly displays his $1 million check at Washington's Lottery office in Olympia. He was one of three people across the state to win $1 million in Washington's Lottery Raffle drawing June 26.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Ron Roehmholdt opened up the newspaper Saturday, June 28 and read that a winning $1 million Washington’s Lottery Raffle ticket was sold at Tracyton Market in Bremerton.

Roehmholdt happened to buy his ticket at that store and checked his two Raffle tickets a couple days later.

The 62-year-old Bremerton man stuck his ticket in the machine at Tracyton Market and was told to see a store clerk. He found Tracyton Market Manager Lyla Begor who said, “It’s you. I know it’s you.”

Sure enough, Begor checked the ticket and Roehmholdt was one of three $1 million winners statewide.

“I just said, ‘check it again,’” he said.

Roehmholdt, the Navy Museum Northwest exhibit chief, went home and woke up his 19-year-old daughter to show her the winning ticket. His half-asleep daughter said, “Oh, a million. That’s cool,” before dozing off again.

Roehmholdt said his first thought after discovering he won $1 million was finishing the vinyl windows on his home.

“So now I’m going to finish my windows,” he said.

Roehmholdt put his $1 million ticket in a safety deposit box for a week. He was too swamped at work to travel down to Washington’s Lottery office in Olympia to claim his prize.

The following week, Roehmholdt went to Olympia and told an employee he had a winning $1 million Raffle ticket.

“Then all of a sudden people started coming out from all over the place,” Roehmholdt said.

He drove back to Kitsap County, deposited the money in the bank and went to work at the Naval Undersea Museum in Keyport, where he’s worked for 24 years.

“I had things to do (at work),” he said with a smile.

Roehmholdt said he plans to do a little home repair with his winnings including the vinyl window installation and possibly installing a tankless water heater. He also wants to spruce up the landscape surrounding his house.

“I’m not running out and buying new cars. I’m still driving my used cars,” Roehmholdt said. “I’m just paying off some bills. It just makes things a little more comfortable.”

Roehmholdt plans to take his 19-year-old daughter and 25-year-old son on a nice vacation.

“We’re trying to figure out where to go,” Roehmholdt said. “I’d like to take them someplace that would be meaningful for them.”

Roehmholdt already spent some of the $1 million. He sent money to his 40-year-old daughter in San Diego and sent flowers to the women who helped him in Washington’s Lottery office in Olympia. He also gave Begor at Tracyton Market a check for $10,000.

“Lyla’s just a nice woman,” Roehmholdt said. “She’s the kind of person that would be very appreciative.”

Roehmholdt plans to continue working for Navy Museum Northwest and said the money will help with future retirement and ensuring his children are taken care of for years to come.

“I love what I do and while this money is wonderful, I think enjoying my work is a lot more important,” he said.

Roehmholdt said he hasn’t told many people about his winnings and plans to continue playing Washington’s Lottery for fun.

“I don’t really say much about it and just go about my life,” he said.

When he was younger, Roehmholdt said he used to complain about older people always winning big with Washington’s Lottery, but things have changed.

“I’m one of those old people who won the lottery now,” he said with a smile.

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