FRAZIER PARK, Calif. – Lady Luck has smiled upon the Golden State once again, as a single Powerball ticket sold in the small town of Frazier Park, California has won the astounding $1.765 billion jackpot in Wednesday night’s draw. This marks the second time in less than a year that a ticket purchased in California has claimed one of the largest lottery prizes in US history.
The Billionaire Club Welcomes a New Member
The winner of this massive prize will have the choice between taking the lump sum cash payout of $774.1 million before taxes, or receiving the full $1.765 billion prize spread out over 29 annual payments. Either way, the holder of the winning ticket will instantly become one of the biggest lottery winners of all time.
Just last November, a Powerball player in Altadena, California won the record-shattering $2.04 billion jackpot, the largest in US lottery history. Prior to that, the previous Powerball record was a $1.586 billion jackpot won by three ticket holders in January 2016. California is certainly no stranger to creating instant billionaires.
Small Town Treasure Hunt Comes to an End
The lucky ticket was sold at Midway Market & Liquor in the small rural town of Frazier Park, located in Kern County about 75 miles north of Los Angeles. The modest market, tucked away near the edge of Los Padres National Forest, has previously sold smaller prize-winning tickets but never one this enormous.
Store owner Raul Vega received a message late Wednesday night informing him that his market sold the lone jackpot-winning ticket. “I was so excited, I couldn’t believe it,” said Vega. “I’m very proud that the winning ticket was sold here.”
Winning Numbers Add Up to Billions
The winning numbers in Wednesday night’s draw were white balls 22, 24, 40, 52, 64 and red Powerball 10. The final jackpot climbed past initial estimates of $1.5 billion due to last-minute ticket sales across the country. This is the 7th largest lottery prize in world history.
It had been building since early August, when a player in Pennsylvania won a $206.9 million prize. Since then, 36 consecutive draws passed without anyone matching all six numbers. Millions of hopeful players continued to buy tickets, pushing the jackpot higher and higher.
Powerball Winning Streak in California
This is an incredible winning streak for California, as four of the five biggest lottery jackpots in US history have now been won in the state, including the top two. Just last July, a Southern California ticket claimed a $425 million Mega Millions prize, that game’s 5th largest ever. Lottery fever in the state seems stronger than ever.
Odds Defying Lightning Strike Twice
The odds of winning the massive jackpot were an astronomical 1 in 292.2 million, yet California has managed to deliver two record-shattering prizes within a year. Lottery officials note that as jackpots grow to staggering amounts, more players buy tickets hoping to strike gold against the long odds.
Recent Powerball changes have lowered the odds and allowed jackpots to balloon faster by higher ticket prices and smaller chances at winning secondary prizes. While unlikely, California players have proven it’s possible to win big twice.
One Small Town’s Talk of the Town
Residents of Frazier Park, population 2,691, were abuzz with excitement Thursday morning. “Everyone is wondering who the winner is,” said Michelle Romero, a clerk at Frazier Mountain Liquor. “I hope it’s someone local who can really use the money.”
The mystery winner is likely still in shock over their new billionaire status. They now face the question of whether to reveal their identity or remain anonymous. In the meantime, Frazier Park is enjoying its moment in the spotlight.
Across the country, disappointed players who didn’t win the jackpot are tossing their tickets in the trash. But here in this small California town, residents are wondering if they might have just brushed shoulders with a billionaire without even knowing it. The hunt is on to discover who will claim the massive prize.