California – After a wait of a little more than six months, Marvin and Mae Acosta, the winners of the largest lottery prize in California Lottery history, finally came forward to claim their prize. They were one of three big winners of prizes worth $528.8 million from the January 13th Powerball jackpot of nearly $1.6 billion. The other two tickets were sold in Tennessee and Florida.
"We finally know who our mystery winners are! It may have taken six months for them to come to one of our offices, but these winners did just what we tell all our winners to do - they read our Winner's Handbook and then assembled a team of legal and financial advisors to help them make the most of this windfall and prepare them for their new life as Lottery winners," California Lottery Director Hugo Lopez said. "We couldn't be happier for them and are thrilled they took the time to assemble the right team before coming in to claim."
The Acostas purchased their winning ticket at the 7-Eleven located at 4092 Chino Hills Parkway in Chino Hills (San Bernardino County). Their ticket matched all six winning numbers. The couple has opted to take the cash option amount of $327.8 million before federal taxes. The lucky retailer was also a big winner! The Chino Hills 7-Eleven location received the maximum bonus of $1,000,000 for selling the winning ticket.
The jackpot was the largest in U.S. lottery history and became a nationwide phenomenon, as players rushed out to buy tickets so they could be a part of history. In total, California players scooped up $386 million worth of Powerball tickets during the historic run, and the jackpot generated an estimated additional $150 million for California public schools.
The Acostas respectfully declined all requests for media interviews and did not wish to have any additional information or photos released, though they did provide this statement:
"We are thankful and blessed for the rare gift that has been placed in our care. We have engaged a team of advisors to educate and guide us through this process so that we can be good stewards of these new resources. While many decisions are still to be made, we have committed nearly all of this new resource to a Trust and to charities that are important to us. While we are very grateful for the wonderful wishes and encouragement we've received, it is not our intention to become public figures, and we ask for and appreciate privacy going forward. Thank you."