The wait is over. After months of anticipation, the winner of November’s historic $2.04 billion Powerball jackpot was identified Tuesday as Edwin Castro, KTLA reports.
Castro did not attend a news conference at California Lottery headquarters in Sacramento. Aside from his name, no other information was released. However, lotto officials confirmed that Castro opted to receive the lump sum payment option of $997.6 million.
Lottery officials also read a statement on his behalf:
“As much as I am shocked and ecstatic to have won the Powerball drawing, the real winner is the California public school system,” Castro’s statement said.
“The mission of the California Lottery, which is to provide supplemental funding for California public education … makes this a huge win for the state. 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 declined lotto officials’ invitation to appear publicly.
California public schools indeed reaped the benefits of November’s jackpot, generating a record-breaking $156 million, officials said. As a result, the California Lottery raised $2 billion in just one fiscal year.
“Clearly Edwin Castro shares in our love for California’s schools on this Valentine’s Day, couldn’t be more fitting,” California Lotto spokeswoman Carolyn Becker said.
In November, the Powerball jackpot reached the record-setting amount after 41 consecutive drawings without a jackpot winner.
The winning ticket was purchased at Joe’s Service Center in Altadena. The store’s owner, Joe Chahayed, received a $1 million prize for selling the ticket, lottery officials said.
In an interview Tuesday, Chahayed said the money is going in part to his grandson’s college fund. He also believes Castro may be a local resident.