Store owner receives $1 million for Powerball jackpot: ‘No one deserves it anymore’

(KTLA) – California has a new billionaire – and a new millionaire.

The owner of a convenience store where the winning $2.04 billion Powerball ticket was purchased will receive $1 million.

The winner has yet to show up, but Southern California store owner Joe Chahayed said lotto officials informed him of the prize before it opened Tuesday morning.

“There is no one else who deserves it more than this man,” one of Chahayed’s sons said of his father.

Chahayed, who wore a California lottery shirt that read “millionaire made here”, came to the United States from Syria in the 1980s in search of a better life. He said he and his family had worked hard to open and run their own store.

On Tuesday he received a check for his share of the winnings, which he said he will share with his children and 11 grandchildren.

“We’re thrilled. We’re happy for California, happy for Los Angeles County and happy for the city of Altadena, we’re happy for the schools, they’re going to get more money,” Chahayed told KTLA.

For Powerball and Mega Millions, $1 million is the maximum incentive for retailers, according to the California Lottery.

Joe’s Service Center is located in Altadena, an unincorporated area east of Los Angeles. On Tuesday morning, California lottery officials announced that a customer had matched all six numbers in Monday night’s record $2.04 billion jackpot.

“Someone is holding a very important piece of paper this morning worth $2.04 billion,” California Lotto spokeswoman Carolyn Becker said at a morning press conference at the exterior of the store.

The winning numbers for Monday’s draw, which were not announced until Tuesday morning due to a technical glitch, were 10, 33, 41, 47, 56 and Powerball number 10. The Power Play multiplier was 2X.

“California Lottery makes its FIRST billionaire!” a Tweeter of the California Lotto read. The sign that now hovers above Joe’s Service Center had to be changed from “millionaire” to “billionaire” after the record jackpot.

Along with the record jackpot winner, three other tickets matched five numbers in California, officials said. These tickets were sold in Gardena, Beaumont and San Francisco.

Another winner is California Public Schools. The state lottery raised $156.3 million for public schools as people tried their luck in the raffle, Becker said.

Tickets worth $1 million were also sold in Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon , Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas and Washington, lotto officials said. A person in Florida won $2 million.

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