A record top prize of a $2.04B jackpot has been won by an individual who bought a Powerball Ticket in Southern California, nearly after three months without anyone scoping such a jackpot.
The winners were selected Tuesday morning, almost 10 hours after the scheduled Monday night drawing due to glitches in processing sales data at one of the game’s member lotteries.
The Multi-State Lottery Association acknowledged the unprecedented delay for such a high-profile drawing but said the game’s security process was accorded high priority, with the Minnesota Lottery Tuesday afternoon, acknowledging their sales verification system caused the lengthy delay.
Drew Svitko, the chairman of the Powerball Product Group and executive director of the Pennsylvania Lottery said, “Protecting the integrity of the draw is of utmost importance, and we were able to do that during this historic drawing with the cooperation of all participating lotteries.”
The center that sold winning ticket to receive $1M Powerball bonus
The winning jackpot ticket numbers with numbers; white balls 10, 33, 41, 47 and 56, and the red Powerball was 10 was sold at Joe’s Service Center in Altadena, an unincorporated community in the foothills northeast of Los Angeles.
Because Joe Chahayed’s business sold the winning ticket, he will receive a maximum Powerball bonus of $1 million and upon the announcement, Chahayed happily said, “I’m very surprised. Very excited. Very happy.”
Chahayed said that he didn’t know who won the giant prize but he hopes it is someone local adding that he would spend his $1 million on his five children and donate some to the community.
“I wish I knew the person but most people who buy tickets from me are from the neighborhood. I hope one of them will be the winner,” he said.
According to California rules, apart from the winner’s information including the winner’s address, the name of the winner must be publicly disclosed.
Thomas Murrell, a native of Altadena in Las Vegas said he stopped at Joe’s on Tuesday morning with the intention of buying gas and $200 worth of Powerball tickets just in case no one had won the giant jackpot.
“I know Joe. I’ve known him for years and talk to him all the time,” Murrell said. “Joe’s always been a lucky guy. He’s a good guy. I’m not surprised it happened here.” Murrell said.
$2.04B jackpot the largest lottery prize ever won
The $2.04 billion jackpot is by far the largest lottery prize ever won, topping the previous record $1.586 billion prize won by three Powerball ticketholders in 2016 although only four previous jackpots have topped $1 billion and none of those are close to the current prize, which started at $20 million back on Aug. 6 and has grown over three winless months.
The jackpot was initially reported as an estimated $1.9 billion on Monday, but the prize was increased to $2.04 billion Tuesday morning after updated calculations due to a delay in the scheduled draw from 10:59 p.m. EST Monday to 8:57 EST a.m. Tuesday.
Although nearly all winners instead opt for cash, the winner of the $2.04 billion prize chose an annuity to be paid annually over 29 years which was valued at $997.6 million.
The Powerball game is played in 45 states, as well as Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 292 million.
The delay in announcing the winning ticket
Due to the fact that the announcement of the winning Powerball ticket recorded an unprecedented delay, Marie Hinton, a Minnesota Lottery spokeswoman, said the lottery was reviewing what happened and hoped to report its findings.
A former director of the Iowa Lottery, Terry Rich, who also served on the Powerball board, said the delay was likely due to a two-part verification system of ticket sales that makes use of an outside vendor to ensure all is in order before the game’s numbers are drawn.
Rich said, “Each state must verify through a dual process that all of the sales and dollars match before the Multi-State Lottery Association can do the draw,” adding “This is a state-by-state procedure, which separates the whole process and has been very effective.”
Rich further added that state lotteries deal with similar problems several times a year but the delays usually don’t attract much attention because the potential jackpots are far less than what was up for grabs this week.