Ticket to California wins record $2.04 billion Powerball jackpot

A lucky winner bought the nation’s only matching Powerball ticket worth more than $2 billion at an Altadena gas station, becoming California’s first lottery billionaire, lottery officials said Tuesday. of state.

The winner has yet to show up, but Joseph Chahayed, the owner of the West Woodbury Road petrol station, said he hoped the new billionaire would come from the area.

In the meantime, Chahayed celebrates his own windfall. Lottery officials surprised him in his store at 5:45 a.m. with the announcement that he would receive a $1 million bonus check for selling the $2.04 billion jackpot winning ticket.

The 75-year-old owner of Joe’s Service Center, now an ExxonMobil franchise, said he plans to split the money with his 11 grandchildren and the rest of his family.

“I’m happy for California; I’m happy for LA,” Chahayed said. “I’m happier for Altadena. There are many poor people here; they deserve it.”

Sporting a California Lottery hat and shirt and an “I voted” sticker, Chahayed said while he was happy to share his bonus money with his family, he was more excited about the money slated to go into California schools as well as the possibility of a newly minted local billionaire investing in the Altadena community.

California schools will receive $156.3 million from the jackpot, which is the highest contribution from a single reel in California lottery history, officials said.

Chahayed’s son Danny, who helps run the 20-year-old family business, said the gas station has sold winning lottery tickets in the past but the prizes have always been in the thousands.

Tuesday’s winner will receive an exponentially greater amount.

“I hope the person who won is actually from the community, so they know the struggles of people here and can give back,” Danny Chahayed said, echoing his father’s sentiments.

Even with the excitement of the day, Joseph Chahayed was poised as to what was to come. His son told him he should retire, but slowing down is not on Chahayed’s agenda.

“I’m 75, I’m still young,” he said. “I will be there tomorrow at 6 p.m. I like work.

Danny called his dad a real “people person” and said he enjoyed getting to know people by selling lottery tickets, snacks and gas.

“He loves people,” Danny Chahayed said. “He loves interacting with people on a daily basis.”

Neighbors and customers flocked to congratulate the resort owner, hugging him like he was part of the family.

“He deserves it,” said Kenny Devine, a longtime friend, neighbor and customer.

Devine and her sister posed for a photo with Chahayed before gushing even more over her friend.

“He’s just a great person…everyone loves Joe,” he said. “It’s the only place I get my gas, even when prices go up.”

Another customer ran towards Chahayed shouting “Congratulations, brother!” and shook his hand as a woman stood nearby taking video on her cellphone as Chahayed chatted with local media.

“It couldn’t have happened to a better person,” said Clarence Goin, another longtime friend and neighbor who stopped by for the excitement.

Anticipation for the record lottery draw had grown like the jackpot swollen for weeks.

The suspense came to a head Monday night when lottery officials delayed the scheduled draw.

The Powerball drawing ended up being postponed for 10 hours due to a security issue in another state, with the winning numbers announced just before 6 a.m. PT on Tuesday. At 10 a.m., California Lottery officials confirmed that someone bought the winning ticket at Joe’s Service Center, matching the six Powerball numbers.

Powerball Officials did not confirm the details of the security issue who delayed the draw or where it happened.

The jackpot was estimated at $1.9 billion on Monday night, but rose to $2.04 billion on Tuesday morning after updated calculations. The previous Powerball record of $1.586 billion was set in 2016 and shared by winners in California, Florida and Tennessee.

California Lottery spokesman Greg Parashak said the cash value of the jackpot was just under $1 billion, at $997.6 million.

“That’s a lot of money,” Parashak said. “I imagine this person is going to take their time [coming forward].”

The winning numbers for the draw held in Tallahassee, Florida were 10, 33, 41, 47 and 56. The red Powerball number was 10.

There were three other big winners in California on Tuesday, matching five of the winning Powerball numbers for a $1.15 million prize. These tickets were sold at Stues Dairy in Gardena, Oak Valley 76 in Beaumont and 1001 Castro Street Market in San Francisco.

The odds of winning the last jackpot were 1 in 292 million, according to the California Lottery.

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