Winner of $425M US lottery remains lone stranger
Feb. 21, 2014
MILPITAS, California (AP) — Someone's got a golden ticket, but they either don't know it or don't want to show it: The unknown lone winner of a $425 million Powerball jackpot has failed to come forward.
The ticket was sold at a Dixon Landing Chevron station in Milpitas, north of San Jose that bills itself as The Gateway to The Silicon Valley.
It's the second massive lottery jackpot sold in the San Jose area in just over two months, as suddenly the home of Apple and Google is producing more than just tech millionaires.
The winner has a year to come forward after Wednesday night's drawing and can also opt for a $242.2 million onetime lump sum payment.
The last local jackpot winner, Steve Tran, took more than two weeks to realize a Mega Millions ticket worth $324 million was sitting on his dresser. It was his share of a $636 million jackpot drawn on Dec. 17.
Lottery officials advised the person with the winning ticket to immediately sign it and consult an attorney, accountant or financial planner.
Mona Sanders, a California Lottery official who joined a throng of media and regular customers at the Chevron station Thursday, said she was very excited to have two major winners in her area in so short a span.
"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 winning numbers — 1, 17, 35, 49, 54 and a Powerball of 34 — led to the $425 million jackpot that was the sixth largest in U.S. history and the fourth largest in Powerball history, state lottery officials said.
The biggest U.S. lottery prize was a $656 million dollar Mega Millions jackpot in 2012. The biggest Powerball jackpot was a $590.5 million last May.
At least one big check was handed over Thursday, to Parmeet Singh, whose family owns the Chevron station that sold the ticket. Singh received $1 million under a system that shares jackpot money with retailers who selling winning tickets.
The family-run gas station is just off Highway 880, with an attached carwash and Subway sandwich shop.
"I didn't believe it," Singh said. "I ran outside and yelled, 'Oh, my God!'"
Singh said his father, Kulwinder Singh, owns the store but was en route to India and wasn't expected to hear about the $1 million prize until after he landed in New Delhi on Thursday and called the family. He had given his son his cellphone before leaving to avoid any business headaches that might come up during his absence, Singh said.
He 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 would likely reinvest the money in their chain of eight gas stations, he said.
Thanawala reported from San Francisco.