Lottery forfeiture falls short for new police HQ

Since the Medford Police Department is looking for a new headquarters, wouldn't it be wise of them to use the $1 million that was forfeited from the woman who purchased the lottery ticket through illegal means? Of course, $1 million isn't as much as it used to be, but it's a good start.

— Bryan C., Medford

It's true that Medford police are looking for a new home, but the infamous $1 million scratch-it ticket cash isn't going to do a lot to get them there.

The long and twisting tale began in 2004, when Christina Elizabeth Goodenow stole the identity of her boyfriend's deceased mother and opened a Visa card in her name.

Goodenow bought a Million Dollar Jackpot ticket on Oct. 9, 2005, at Fair City Market in Central Point with the credit card.

The scratch-it ticket hit for $1 million, which was to be paid in 20 installments of $50,000 per year.

Goodenow was paid $33,500 in winnings by the time police caught up to her. She already had spent approximately $12,000 of the money when she was arrested. Goodenow pleaded no contest to these crimes and was sentenced to probation.

As part of her sentencing, the lottery money was forfeited to the Medford Police Department. Police agencies in Oregon can collect money gained through criminal activity.

Medford police will receive 40 percent of the remaining money. Another 40 percent is to be used for local drug treatment programs and 7 percent for cleaning up meth labs. The state gets 10 percent for its general fund, and the "asset forfeiture oversight committee" takes 3 percent. Oregon law spells out the division of all criminal forfeitures.

The Police Department's windfall will amount to about $13,400 per year over 20 years. That's obviously not enough to make much of a dent in the cost of a new headquarters.

The department plans to spend the money to expand its current evidence and property room, George has said.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by e-mail to We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.

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