Winner of record $2-billion Powerball jackpot comes forward with ticket bought in Altadena

A man waves outside a gas station with a California Lottery banner that says "Billionaire made here"
Joseph Chahayed, who sold the record-breaking Powerball ticket worth more than $2 billion, waves to a customer Nov. 9 at his Altadena gas station.
(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

The man who won the record-breaking $2.04-billion Powerball jackpot after buying the prized ticket at an Altadena gas station in November has come forward to collect his winnings.

Edwin Castro won the “unbelievable and historic” prize, California Lottery Director Alva Johnson said Tuesday, after the jackpot ballooned for weeks in the fall following repeated drawings without a winner.

Castro was the only person to match all five numbers plus the Powerball for a jackpot-winning ticket.


Castro declined to speak publicly Tuesday, but he said in a statement that he was “shocked and ecstatic,” and glad to learn that California public schools also won big.

“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,” Castro said.

California public schools from the kindergarten to university level received $156.3 million alongside Castro’s winnings from the lottery pool, Johnson said.

Castro chose to collect his prize in a lump sum, for a total of nearly $1 billion, lottery officials said. Though his name and how he accepted his winnings are public record under California law, no other information about Castro — including his age, city of residence or any other identifiers — was revealed. Johnson said Castro would like to “largely remain private.”

The celebration for the record-breaking $2.04 billion Powerball jackpot at Joseph Chahayed’s Altadena gas station showed his dedication to the community. His customers call him the friendliest man they know.

Nov. 9, 2022

The owner of the store that sold the winning ticket — Joseph Chahayed of Joe’s Mobile Service — already received his $1-million check. Under California’s Powerball rules, the retailer that sells the winning ticket earns a 0.5% share of the jackpot, capped at $1 million.

The odds of winning this jackpot were 1 in 292 million, according to the California Lottery.


The announcement about the winner came Tuesday at a news conference at California Lottery headquarters in Sacramento.

“This is a history-making day here at the California Lottery,” said Carolyn Becker, a spokesperson for the state lottery. “Edwin Castro shares in our love for California public schools on this Valentine’s Day — couldn’t be more fitting.”

Jackpot winners have a full calendar year to come forward, but Castro waited just three months.