Winner of biggest ever lottery jackpot revealed after bagging $2 billion ticket

By Sanj Atwal
Published
California lottery official announcing record breaking lottery winner

California resident Edwin Castro has been revealed as the winner of the world’s greatest jackpot in a national lottery, over three months after the numbers were drawn in November 2022.

Overcoming odds of 1 in 292.2 million, Mr Castro was the sole winner of the record-breaking $2.05 billion (£1.79 billion) prize, which he won from a $2 (£1.75) Powerball ticket sold at Joe's Service Center in Altadena, California.

Store owner Joe Chahayed also received a $1 million (£826,000) prize for selling the winning ticket.

Despite winning over two billion dollars, Mr Castro doesn’t quite qualify for billionaire status. He chose to receive his winnings as a single reduced lump sum of $997.6 million (£872 million) instead of receiving it in instalments over a 29-year period.

Additionally, his winnings were subject to federal and jurisdictional taxes.

Following 40 consecutive draws without a winner, the Powerball lottery's grand prize had swollen to its largest amount ever.

Mr Castro eventually claimed the unprecedented pot with winning numbers of 10, 33, 41, 47, 56 and a Powerball of 10.

An additional 22 people each won $1 million for matching five numbers without the Powerball, and one lucky entrant won $2 million for matching five numbers with the x2 multiplier.

Mr Castro had kept his identity secret until it was revealed by California Lottery officials on Tuesday.

Despite being named, he opted not to attend the press announcement or reveal any further information about himself, as he wishes to maintain his privacy.

He did, however, release a brief statement saying he was ‘shocked’ and ‘ecstatic.’

California Lottery Director Alva Johnson announces that Edwin Castro won the record-breaking jackpot

As mandated by Californian law, lottery winners have one year to submit their winning ticket, and their name and winnings must be announced as part of the public record. Any unclaimed winnings are awarded to the state's public school system.

Even though the winnings were claimed on this occasion, the California school system still received more than $156 million (£136 million) as a result of lottery ticket sales.

Mr Castro said in his statement: “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.”

Prior to this, the greatest jackpot in a national lottery was $1.58 billion (£1.09 billion), won in the Powerball by three individuals on 13 January 2016 following 19 consecutive draws without a winner. The largest individual win was $1.53 billion (£1.18 billion) for a Mega Millions draw on 23 October 2018 in South Carolina, USA.

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