Ticket sold in California wins $425M Powerball

MARTHA MENDOZA AP National Reporter Published:

MILPITAS, Calif. (AP) -- The lone winning ticket for the $425 million Powerball jackpot was sold at a convenience store in Northern California, but there was no immediate word on who may have won one of the largest lottery jackpots in U.S. history.

The winning numbers drawn Wednesday night were: 1, 17, 35, 49, 54 and a Powerball of 34.

California lottery officials said the ticket was sold at Dixon Landing Chevron in Milpitas, a city about 10 miles north of San Jose that bills itself as The Gateway to The Silicon Valley. The business will receive $1 million for selling the winning ticket.

Store owner Kulwinder Singh was en route to India and wasn't expected to hear about the $1 million prize until after he landed in New Delhi around 11 a.m. PST Thursday and called the family, his son, Parmeet, said. California Lottery officials came to the gas station Thursday morning and presented the family with a $1 million check.

Parmeet planned to tease his dad before breaking the news.

"'Hey dad, what would you do if you had $1 million?'" he said he would ask him.

His parents are humble people, he said, so he didn't expect them to splurge on anything.

The family-run gas station is just off Highway 880, with an attached carwash and Subway sandwich shop. The parking lot was crowded Thursday morning with television news vans.

Inside the store, dozens of reporters and photographers crowded the aisles of snack foods as Parmeet talked about his surprise at hearing the news, and the store's regular customers bantered about the prospect that one of them could have been the winner.

"I didn't believe it," Parmeet said. "I ran outside and yelled, 'Oh, my God!'"

He and employees at the store said they did not know who the winner could be.

Rajwinder Singh, one employee, said late Wednesday that he believed he was probably the person who sold the winning ticket.

"I've been here working from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.," he said. "I hope I'll find out soon."

The ticket was the only one to match all the winning numbers, Powerball officials said late Wednesday.

The jackpot was estimated at $425.3 million, with a cash payout option of $242.2 million. It's one of the largest lottery jackpots in U.S. history -- but still far from the record.

A ticket for the nation's second-largest lottery prize ever was also purchased in the San Francisco Bay Area. In December, two winning tickets were purchased in San Jose, Calif., and Atlanta, for a $636 million Mega Millions prize.

Mona Sanders, a California Lottery official who came to the Singh's gas station, said she was very excited to have two major winners in her district in slightly more than two months.

"I was like, 'What? Again? Not me,'" Sanders said. "When I found out the winner was again in my district, I was so surprised."

The nation's biggest lottery prize was a $656 million dollar Mega Millions jackpot in 2012. The biggest Powerball jackpot was a $590.5 million last May.

Wednesday's drawing also saw 17 tickets match enough numbers to win $1 million, and one ticket won a $2 million prize, according to a statement from Rose J. Hudson, chair of the Powerball Game Group and president of the Louisiana Lottery.

Hudson advised winners to "sign the back of your tickets and store them in a safe place" and "consult trusted financial and legal professionals" during the claim period.

Changes to top lottery games have created bigger jackpots in shorter periods of time. More than half of the top 10 prizes in U.S. lottery history have occurred since 2012, according to statistics provided by the Multi-State Lottery Association.

Powerball's game changes in January 2012 included an increase in ticket price from $1 to $2. Starting jackpots went from $20 million to $40 million, and pots increased by more money with each roll. Mega Millions also went through a revamp that included decreasing the odds of winning the top prize to 1 in about 259 million.

Powerball is played in 43 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The odds of matching all six numbers are 1 in about 175 million.

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Associated Press writer Channing Joseph in San Francisco contributed to this report.