A California man named Edwin Castro has been identified as the winner of the record-setting $2.04 billion Powerball drawing from November 2022.
The multi-state lottery jackpot winning ticket was sold at a retail location in Altadena on Nov. 7, 2022.
Joe Chahayed, owner of Joe’s Service Center in Altadena, has been awarded a $1 million prize for selling the winning ticket. Chahayed said the money would go toward funding college education for his grandchildren. That commitment to education mirrors the mission of the Powerball and California lottery.
“As much as I am shocked and ecstatic to have won the Powerball drawing, the real winner is the California public school system,” Castro said in a statement after his identity was revealed earlier this week.
READ MORE: These Are the Best Indian Casinos in California Right Now
Powerball ticket sales largely fund public education in California, where lottery players often cite that fact as a reason they make their purchases.
Castro did not appear at the press conference on Feb. 14 announcing the winner and location of the ticket purchase. Instead, he supplied a written statement, preferring to remain as anonymous as he can. California law mandates that lottery officials must release the winner’s name, but no other details are required.
How Much Money Does He Actually Win?
There had been great interest in the identity of the Nov. 7, 2022 winner, seeing as no one had voluntarily announced they had won. Castro had a year to officially claim the prize, which will total $997.6 million in a lump sum payment. His other option would have been 30 annual payments. Powerball winnings in California are subject to federal income tax only, not state tax.
Joe’s Service Center has seen an increase in lottery sales since it was announced as the seller of the winning ticket late last year. According to Chahayed, his business has increased “three-fold since November,” per reporting by the Pasadena Star News. Chahayed said Castro was a regular customer at his establishment.
Altadena is just north of Pasadena, about 15 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles.
What Is the Powerball?
Operated by the Multi-State Lottery Association, the Powerball is available in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. It utilizes six balls, and the odds of winning any jackpot are calculated at 1-in-292,201,338. Tickets range in price from $2 to $3.
The Powerball sold its first ticket in 1992, and California joined the multi-state lottery in 2013. Since 2013, more than $100 million has been raised for education programs in the state from Powerball lottery ticket sales. According to Statista, in 2020, US states earned $26.93 billion from lottery sales, though that figure includes other lottery games, not just Powerball.