SACRAMENTO - The California Lottery today announced the name of the only winner of the record-breaking $2.04 billion Powerball jackpot, which was hit with a single winning ticket sold in Los Angeles County. Edwin Castro bought the ticket at Joe’s Service Center in Altadena ahead of the November drawing.
Though Castro told the California Lottery he would respectfully deny the opportunity to appear publicly and wishes to remain private, he did provide the following statement:
As much as I am shocked and ecstatic to have won the Powerball drawing, the real winner is the California public school system. The mission of the California Lottery, which is to provide supplemental funding for California public education – both public schools and colleges – 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.
– Edwin Castro, Winner of $2.04 billion Powerball jackpot
Thanks to the Powerball jackpot that eluded players for months before Castro hit it on the 41st draw of the rolling sequence, California Lottery raised a record $156.3 million for public education – the most ever earned in a single jackpot roll.
In addition, California Lottery today announced it expects to have delivered California public schools a staggering $2 billion – a record amount for a single year – in the most recent fiscal year (2021- ‘22), once the final figures complete the state’s standard auditing process.
“We here at the California Lottery take a tremendous amount of pride in our mission – which is to raise and reliably deliver supplemental funding for public education. Those funds are being used to elevate student learning experiences across the state,” said California Lottery Director Alva V. Johnson. “While our funds are a modest percentage of education’s overall budget, educators have a lot of flexibility in how those dollars get spent.”
In all, the California Lottery, which is a self-supporting state agency, has earned more than $41 billion for the state’s K-12 public schools, community colleges, and universities since the first ticket was sold in 1985. What's more, Lottery has contributed at least $1 billion to public schools annually over the last 22 consecutive years.
For draw game tickets sold in California, 40 cents of every dollar spent (80 cents for every $2 Powerball ticket) goes toward public education. In fact, 95 cents of every dollar spent on Lottery games goes back to the community through contributions to schools, prizes for Lottery winners, and bonuses and commissions earned by Lottery’s more than 23,000 retail partners.
“California is blessed to have so many Lottery-made millionaires, including more than 140 last year alone,” said Carolyn Becker, California Lottery spokesperson. “We often hear from our largest prize winners – including Edwin Castro – that they’re thrilled to know their participation in our games ultimately benefits such a good cause and helps boost local economies throughout the state.”
Castro was one of millions of players vying for the staggering multibillion-dollar jackpot this past November. As with any jackpot winner, he had the choice to receive his winnings via the lump sum or 30 annual payments. Castro elected to take the cash value of his prize money, totaling $997.6 million. Joe’s Service Center earned a $1 million bonus for selling the winning ticket.
More than 11.2 million tickets won cash prizes associated with the November 7 drawing, including two additional big winning tickets in California which each matched five numbers and have prizes worth more than $1 million each.