ALTADENA, Calif. — While lottery fans waited to hear if any tickets matched Monday night’s $2.04 billion Powerball jackpot, Joe Chahayed showed up to open his convenience store in Altadena, California, like it was any other Tuesday.
Before he flipped the “Open” sign on for Joe’s Service Center, however, California Lottery officials informed Chahayed that his store had sold the lone winning ticket for the largest jackpot in lottery history, meaning $1 million was headed his way, KTLA-TV reported.
“There’s no one else that deserves it more than this man,” one of Chahayed’s sons told the TV station about his father.
According to CNN Business, Chahayed came to the United States from Syria in 1980 with $14,000 to his name, and now he’s California’s newest millionaire.
“They said, ‘congratulations, your station sent a winner,’” he recounted, confirming to the network that California Lottery officials presented the check to Chahayed and his sons, Joe Jr. and Danny, early Tuesday at the store.
Chahayed told KTLA he will share the windfall with his children and 11 grandchildren.
“We are excited. We are happy for California, happy for Los Angeles County and happy for the city of Altadena. We are happy for the schools. They’re going to get more money,” Chahayed told the TV station.
The winning numbers for Monday’s drawing, which weren’t announced until Tuesday morning due to a technical issue, were 10, 33, 41, 47, 56 and Powerball number 10. The Power Play multiplier was 2X.
“Somebody is holding onto a very important piece of paper this morning worth $2.04 billion,” California Lotto spokeswoman Carolyn Becker said during a Tuesday morning news conference outside Chahayed’s store.
In addition to the winner in California, one person in Florida won $2 million and 22 people in 16 states won $1 million each.
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