A former student of the California public school system who prefers to avoid the spotlight primarily is the lucky recipient of the most significant U.S. lottery payout in history.
On Tuesday, officials from the California Lottery announced that Edwin Castro had won the $2.04 billion Powerball jackpot in November. However, they were at a loss for words regarding him. According to state law, Castro’s name is on the public record, but no other information is, including his age and residence.
The winning ticket was purchased at Joe’s Service Center in the unincorporated city of Altadena, located northeast of Los Angeles in the foothills. Winners of the California Lottery, however, are not obliged to reside in the state. The owner of Joe’s Service Center, Joe Chahayed, received a $1 million prize for selling the winning ticket.
Castro rebuffed a request from government representatives to address the media on Tuesday. Instead, he submitted a letter expressing his shock and ecstasy at winning the lotto. Castro said in his statement that he had “been schooled in the California public education system,” and that the lottery in California benefited public schools.
Winners can receive rewards in a flat amount or over 30 annual installments. According to state officials, Castro selected the $997.6 million single sum.
According to California Lottery Deputy Director Carolyn Becker, most lottery jackpot winners try to maintain a low profile and stay out of the spotlight. However, some states prefer to make public announcements of the winners to “humanize” the lottery by reminding the public that actual people win actual prizes.
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Due to how long it took for someone to select the ideal set of six numbers to win, Castro’s lottery victory was the largest in American history. Each time there is no winner, the Powerball jackpot rises from its initial starting value of $20 million. Castro’s numbers were announced after more than 40 consecutive drawings: 10, 33, 41, 47, and 56, plus the red Powerball, which was 10.
According to Becker, all those lotteries earned the highest money from a single jackpot—$156.3 million—for California’s public schools. In its fiscal year, the California Lottery raised $2 billion overall for public schools. According to California Lottery Director Alva Johnson, “These figures represent commitments kept since voters founded the lottery in 1984 with the specific purpose and intent to raise extra financing for public education.”
With Castro’s victory, three of the top ten lottery jackpots in American history have originated from tickets purchased in California. Three tickets purchased in California, Florida, and Tennessee resulted in the second-largest prize of $1.586 billion in 2016. A $699.8 million ticket in California was purchased in 2021, making it the ninth-largest jackpot ever.
Castro’s winning ticket has the state. According to Becker, they may consider displaying it at the lottery’s main office.
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