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California's $425M Powerball winner comes forward

Calif. $425M Powerball Winner Steps Forward

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The sole winner of February's $425 million Powerball jackpot came forward to claim his prize Tuesday.

California Lottery officials said B. Raymond Buxton, a Northern California man, claimed the prize at the California Lottery headquarters in Sacramento.

" 'Unbelievable!' is all I could muster," Buxton said in a statement on Tuesday. "Once the initial shock passed, I couldn't sleep for days."

After the winning numbers were announced, Buxton said, he sat in front of his computer in disbelief, checking and rechecking his ticket - and telling no one else that he had won. "Sitting on a ticket of this value was very scary," he said.

When he claimed his prize Tuesday, Buxton was wearing a shirt that featured a picture of the Star Wars character Yoda and read, "Luck of the Jedi I have."

According to his publicist Sam Singer, one reason that Buxton came forward on April 1 - April Fool's Day - is simply that he has a healthy sense of humor.

"He still can't believe it's not a prank on him. But the reality is Ray Buxton is the winner," Singer told The Associated Press.

Buxton has been working since February with an attorney and financial adviser to establish new bank accounts, set up a charity and sort out tax issues.

"I'm going to enjoy my new job setting up a charitable foundation focused on the areas of pediatric health, child hunger and education," Buxton said in the statement.

Buxton also plans to stay out of the limelight and doesn't want to speak directly to the media, Singer said. He also won't reveal his age, address or what he did for a living until recently.

"He really wants to live a private life as best he can," Singer said. "He was a solidly middle-class American, and today he is a solidly wealthy one."

Buxton bought the one winning ticket for the Feb. 19 drawing at a convenience store in the San Francisco Bay Area city of Milpitas, about 10 miles north of San Jose.

The $425 million jackpot is one of the largest lottery jackpots in U.S. history, though far from the record. The nation's biggest lottery prize was a Mega Millions jackpot of $656 million in 2012. The biggest Powerball jackpot was a $590.5 million last May.

Buxton chose to take a lump-sum payment of $242.2 million before taxes, lottery officials said.

Buxton was getting lunch at a Subway restaurant at the Chevron station's convenience store when he decided to buy another ticket because the jackpot was so large, lottery officials said.

"It's amazing how a little slip of paper can change your life," Buxton said, who estimates that he has been playing the lottery for 20 years.

The Feb. 19 jackpot was the largest jackpot in California history, according to lottery officials, and the sixth-largest ever won in the United States.

The odds of matching all six Powerball numbers are 1 in about 175 million, according to statistics from the Multi-State Lottery Association in Iowa.

Powerball is played in 43 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Join the discussion

1000|Char. 1000  Char.
rushrails1991 April 02 2014 at 5:52 AM

Congrats Mr. Buxton! Regardless on who wins these monster lotto jackpots, it's still nice to read about the news. And I think it's great he wants to remain low-key and outta the spotlight respectfully. For the rest of us, it's also nice to keep on dreamin'. . .

Flag Reply +4 rate up
IBruzEZ April 02 2014 at 9:15 AM

Wonderful for this guy but..... I still say, many, many of the states that play have never had a winner, several states, like california and michigan have had several big winners. Doesn't sound right to me.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
1 reply
filliperogers IBruzEZ April 02 2014 at 10:18 AM

Well once upon a time I was in the gaming business in Nevada and when people asked me for my advice about playing............. I always told them "don't play." Lotteries, gaming, slots, it's all just a legal con game.

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1 reply
fitt2ravels filliperogers April 02 2014 at 5:49 PM

But I love Vegas...!

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Brenda Fay April 02 2014 at 10:16 PM

some people have all the luck,!!!

Flag Reply +3 rate up
slayerpc April 02 2014 at 9:18 AM

Congrads !!! one of us has to win , and this time it was YOU!!!! :-)

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1 reply
fitt2ravels slayerpc April 02 2014 at 5:48 PM

Me next...?

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mariannef2 April 02 2014 at 10:11 PM

More power to you!

Flag Reply +1 rate up
boatallday April 02 2014 at 9:46 AM

Good for you. ENjoy life and do all the things that you dreamed of doing!

Flag Reply +3 rate up
Aloha, Kim April 02 2014 at 9:48 AM

What a wonderful way to give back. charity donations are great, God bless you, stay safe, healthy, strong, and you are smart, protect your identity. and give Thanks to God.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
1 reply
mikco99 Aloha, Kim April 02 2014 at 10:15 AM

Right, because it was god who picked the number.

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1 reply
mr SAM TREESH mikco99 April 02 2014 at 10:32 AM

your nuts,,, your god guy was busy letting people die and get killed to pick a # you need to wake up...

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jamooreem April 02 2014 at 9:49 AM

I hope you find peace from all that will try to get a piece of it. Good luck and enjoy!!!!

Flag Reply +4 rate up
Jerry April 02 2014 at 9:53 AM

Congratulations..It sounds like a good person won. We dont get to hear that much. He's keeping his head down and using it for a good cause. We could all take a lesson from this guy.
Enjoy it, buddy..I know I would.

Flag Reply +8 rate up
hornet32j April 02 2014 at 9:53 PM

I'm happy for him just as I would have been happy if I had won or if you had won .

Flag Reply +2 rate up
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