California – After waiting nearly a month and a half, we finally have a winner! No, this isn't an April Fools' Day joke, but B. Raymond Buxton does have quite the sense of humor. He purposely chose today, April 1st, to come forward and claim his massive $425.3 million Powerball jackpot prize and he did it while wearing a shirt that featured a picture of Yoda and read "Luck of the Jedi I have." Buxton claimed his prize at the California Lottery headquarters in Sacramento and took a little time to share some of his story.
The Northern California retiree can thank his stomach for the big win. He was getting lunch at Subway, which is located inside the convenience store at Dixon Landing Chevron in Milpitas, when he decided to buy another ticket – yes, another ticket. Buxton already had a ticket for the February 19th draw, but the jackpot was so large he decided to test his luck again. This time, he bought a single Quick Pick® ticket and that $2 investment turned into $425 million.
"'Unbelievable!' is all I could muster," Buxton said as he described the moment he found out he hit the jackpot. "I sat in front of the computer for hours in disbelief, frequently checking and rechecking the numbers across multiple sources. Once the initial shock passed I couldn't sleep for days."
He couldn't sleep and he apparently didn't talk! When asked who the first person he told about the jackpot, Buxton replied, "Nobody, sitting on a ticket of this value was very scary. It's amazing how a little slip of paper can change your life."
Buxton took his time coming forward because he wanted to do things by the book, literally. "While validating the numbers at the CA Lottery website, I came across the Winner's Handbook and started to put a plan in motion." He started doing his research and said, "It took over a week to solidify legal and financial representation." With a team in place, Buxton claimed his prize and elected to take the cash option, which is an estimated lump sum amount of $242.2 million before federal taxes.
Now that the hard part is over, Buxton will use some of his winnings to travel. He also plans to give back in a big way. "I'm going to enjoy my new job setting up a charitable foundation focused on areas of pediatric health, child hunger and education."