The winning ticket for the $2.4 billion Powerball lottery was sold at a locally owned gas station in Altadena. The winner has not come forward, but Joseph Chahayed, the owner of Joe’s Service Station, was awarded a $1 million bonus check on Nov. 8 for selling the only winning ticket.
Chahayed, 75, said lottery officials came to congratulate him for selling the winning ticket before he opened the store on W. Woodbury Road. He said he plans to share the money with his family, particularly his 11 grandchildren.
Suspense over the jackpot came to a head after officials delayed the drawing on Monday, Nov. 7, due to security issues. California Lottery officials released that the delay was because one of the participating lotteries needed extra time to complete the required security protocols.
On Tuesday morning, the winning numbers were drawn: 10, 33, 41, 47 and 56, Powerball 10.
The cash payout for the jackpot comes out to just under $1 billion, at $997.6 million. However, if the winner elects to take the sum dispersed in a 29-year payout, they will receive $2.4 billion. The jackpot breaks the record of $1.59 million set in 2016.
Chahayed’s family and friends said they could not think of anyone who deserved a million-dollar check more than he. In a press conference, Chahayed and his two sons stood together to accept the check.
“I’d like to thank the community (that has) supported me. … I encourage you to buy a ticket from this station. We’ve got a (feeling) that one day you’re going to be a winner, too,” Chahayed said.
Joe’s Service Station, which recently became an Exxon Mobin franchise, has been in business for 20 years. Chahayed said the majority of people he sells lottery tickets to come from the area and that he hopes the winner is someone from Altadena who can give back to the community.
Chahayed also said that he is grateful that the lottery raised so much money for California schools; $153 million will go to the California public school system, which is the record amount ever raised in the history of the Powerball lottery.
Three other winning tickets were sold in Gardena, Beaumont and San Francisco to tickets that matched the first five winning numbers. The winners can claim a prize of $1.15 million. The chances of winning are 1 in 292 million.
“Somebody is holding onto a very important piece of paper this morning worth $2.04 billion,” California Lottery spokeswoman Carolyn Becker said. Once the winner comes forward, they will be California’s first lottery-made billionaire.