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Philomath Woman Wins National Sweepstakes, Helping Retirement

Betty Biglin lives with her mother in Philomath and won $50,000 in a national AARP sweepstakes. (Betty Biglin)
Betty Biglin lives with her mother in Philomath and won $50,000 in a national AARP sweepstakes. (Betty Biglin)
September 26, 2016

PHILOMATH, Ore. – An Oregon woman is getting some extra financial security in retirement after winning $50,000 in a national AARP sweepstakes.

Betty Biglin of Philomath was the big winner of the Retire Your Way sweepstakes prize. Before winning the contest, Biglin had been living solely on Social Security with her 97-year-old mother.

Biglin’s husband died earlier this year. She says when she heard the news about winning the sweepstakes, she called AARP's fraud department to find out if it was real.

"My mother and I had been struggling along, so it was really a blessing in disguise,” she states. “I think my husband was looking out over us for me to win this sweepstakes. It's really a, kind of a life-changing event for me."

In the wake of the Great Recession, many Americans saw their pension plans gutted and savings shrink.

According to a survey from, nearly a quarter of Americans fear running out of money during retirement.

In Oregon, one in five people over the age of 65 is still working in order to save money for retirement.

Biglin says before she won the sweepstakes, she was looking at all the ways she could cut corners financially. She says retirees who worry about money might have to consider changing their lifestyles to get by.

"If you're looking at retirement, if you do not have anything much more than Social Security, I mean, you certainly have to plan to live within your means," she offers.

AARP's Take A Stand campaign is urging Lester Holt, the moderator of Monday's presidential debate, to ask the candidates about their Social Security plans.

Under current funding for Social Security, future retirees could see as much as a 25 percent cut in benefits.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - OR