Winner of record $2bn lottery jackpot in US named
The winner of a record-breaking $2.04 billion (£1.69 billion) lottery prize in the US has been named despite the fact he wants to stay out of the spotlight.
Edwin Castro bought the winning ticket at a Los Angeles convenience store in November in which he matched all five winning numbers and the Powerball number – beating odds of one in 292 million.
He said in a statement he was “shocked and ecstatic” to win.
Mr Castro became the 1,292nd richest person in the world thanks to the lucky ticket, according to the latest Forbes billionaires list.
His name was only made public yesterday in line with Californian public disclosure laws. Lottery officials said Mr Castro wanted to remain private and refused to release his age, occupation or address.
But he said he was a former student of the California public school system, which received $156.3m from the Powerball jackpot as part of the lottery’s charitable aims.
“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,” he said.
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Mr Castro bought the ticket in Joe’s Service Centre in Altadena, a town 15 miles north of Los Angeles. The shop will also receive a $1m bonus for selling the winning ticket.
Winners of the Powerball can choose to receive their winnings over 30 annual payments or take a lump sum.
Mr Castro chose the latter option, receiving $997.6m, officials said during a press conference in Sacramento.
Advertised jackpots are based on the estimated value of the prize if it is invested in government bonds over a 30-year period. Most winners ask for the lump sum, even if the overall amount is lower.
The Powerball lottery climbed to its record jackpot sum of more than $2bn in late 2022 after more than 40 consecutive draws failed to yield a winner.
The second-highest jackpot was in 2016 when three winning ticket holders in California, Florida and Tennessee shared a prize of $1.586m.
California is one of 45 states and three US territories that participate in the Powerball lottery.