California has a new billionaire thanks to a $2.04 billion Powerball ticket sold at a convenience store in Altadena. We just don’t know who that billionaire is yet, and we may not for a while.
Depending on where the ticket was purchased, Powerball winners have between 90 days and one year to claim their prize money.
If you win any Powerball prize that isn’t the jackpot in California, you have 180 days from the date of the drawing to claim your prize, according to the California Lottery. Powerball jackpot winners have one full year from the date of the drawing.
That means we may not know who won the record-breaking jackpot until November 2023.
The winner has plenty to consider, like whether to take the lump sum payment of $997.6 million or the annuity option of 29 annual payments that increase by 5% each year.
California law does not allow the winner to stay anonymous, either – whenever they come forward, the California Lottery will be required to publicize their full name. Total winnings, including “your gross and net installment payments,” are public record, the lottery says, and are subject to disclosure as well.
The state lottery is also required to name the business where the winning ticket was sold. Joe’s Service Center on W. Woodbury Road in Altadena was the lucky ticket seller for this jackpot. Store owner Joe Chahayed received his $1 million prize for selling the ticket already.
Though the winner still has 360 days to come forward and claim their prize, you may be wondering what would happen if the $2.04 billion went unclaimed.
Ultimately, participating lotteries would receive back the funds that their jurisdiction contributed, according to Powerball. That money would then be distributed (based on their own jurisdiction’s laws) to other lottery games, the jurisdiction’s general fund, or to wherever is required by law.
In California, for example, unclaimed lottery funds are transferred to the state’s public schools.
The $2.04 billion jackpot is historic for multiple reasons. It’s the largest Powerball jackpot on record and the largest lottery prize in U.S. history. It took 41 consecutive drawings without a jackpot winner for the prize to grow so large, another record in the game of Powerball.
From this jackpot, California public schools will receive $156.3 million, the largest contribution to education generated from one rolling sequence in the California Lottery’s history.
It may also stand as the only Powerball jackpot to be hit on Election Day. Though drawings are held each Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday, the jackpot-winning drawing didn’t happen until the early morning hours of Tuesday, November 8 – Election Day – due to a technical issue.
KTLA’s Travis Schlepp contributed to this report.