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Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Winner of Record $2 Billion Powerball Jackpot at Altadena Service Station Revealed


The winner of a record-setting $2.04 billion Powerball jackpot was identified Tuesday as Edwin Castro, who purchased the winning ticket at an Altadena service station and opted for a lump-sum payment of $997.6 million.

No other details about Castro were released, including where he lives. State lottery officials said winners’ names are a matter of public record in California, but no other identifying information was released to protect the person’s privacy.

Castro declined an invitation from California Lottery officials to appear at a Sacramento news conference, where his name was revealed. But a statement was read on his behalf at the event.

“As much as I am shocked and ecstatic to have won the Powerball drawing, the real winner is the California public school system,” the statement read. “The mission of the California Lottery, which is to provide supplemental funding for California public education, both public schools and colleges, makes this a huge win for the state. As someone who received the rewards of being educated in the California public education system, it’s gratifying to hear that as a result of my win, the California school system greatly benefits as well.”

The winning ticket for the Nov. 7 drawing was purchased at Joe’s Service Center on Woodbury Road in Altadena. The ticket matched all six numbers — 10, 33, 41, 47, 56, and Powerball number 10.

The overall jackpot of $2.04 billion was the largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history.

Three other tickets sold in California matched five numbers in that drawing but missed the Powerball number. Those tickets — sold in Gardena, Beaumont and San Francisco — were each worth roughly $1.15 million. A total of 22 such tickets were sold nationally.

Joseph Chahayed, the owner of Joe’s Service Center, earned a $1 million bonus as the retailer who sold the jackpot-winning ticket.

“I would like to thank all the community (who) support me,” he told reporters in November. “And I would … I encourage you to buy a ticket from this station. … You’re going to be a winner to.”

He said he was grateful that the community and schools will benefit from the lottery funds. He said he planned to share his $1 million bonus payment with his family.

“I will share it with the family … with my kids, my grandchildren,” he said. “I have 11 grandchildren, and I have to share with them.”

The local win marked the first time the California Lottery has doled out a jackpot topping $1 billion to a single winner.

State lottery director Alva V. Johnson said Tuesday that the November Powerball drawing raised a record $156.3 million for the public school system. He said that amount contributed to a record-setting fiscal year for the lottery, with more than $2 billion raised for public schools for the first time.

“These numbers represent promises kept since voters created the lottery in 1984 with the explicit purpose and intent to raise supplemental funding for public education,” Johnson said. “That’s our mission.”

The odds of matching all five numbers and the Powerball number is 1 in 292.2 million, according to the Multi-State Lottery Association, which conducts the game.

The Powerball game is played in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands.

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