CALIFORNIA, CA — If 2021 was a good year for California lottery players, 2022 was even better. This year, Powerball’s biggest prize — a $2.04 billion jackpot — went to the Golden State. Many more scratchers, MegaMillions and Super Lotto Plus players in California became millionaires, too.
For those looking to find a lucky retailer to purchase tickets in the coming year, Patch has you covered with a look at the largest prizes, the luckiest retailers and the winners who scored big in 2022.
Over the past 12 months, the California Lottery changed the lives of more than 100 people, making them instant millionaires, California Lottery spokesperson Catherine Johnston said. Still, the largest prize has yet to be claimed.
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An as-of-yet-unverified winner purchased a winning Powerball ticket worth $2.04 billion, sold at Joe’s Service Center in Altadena. That ticket changed not only the lives of the winner but also the store owner and the Los Angeles County school district. The owner of Joe’s Service Center was awarded $1 million for his luck. He said he shared the winnings with his family.
It’s not surprising that the $2 billion Powerball winner hadn’t come forward yet.
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Often it takes time for winners to step forward and claim their prize as they choose first to get their affairs in order before their lives are forever changed, Johnston said. The below winners shared a bit about themselves and what they planned on doing with their earnings.
In January, a $426 million Mega Millions ticket was sold at the CF United CVX in Woodland Hills. Kristine Wellenstein won that life-changing jackpot. Her ticket was the only to match all six numbers in that drawing.
Also in January, Sacramento-area resident Orlando Zavala Lozano purchased his winning $315 million Powerball ticket at a 7-Eleven, located at 6591 Wyndham Drive in Sacramento. Lozano split the jackpot with another winner from Wisconsin, and the total prize was $632.6 million.
A Super Lotto Plus ticket worth $27 million was purchased at the Liquor Cellar on 150 West Channel Island Boulevard, in Oxnard. Silvestre Zarate told the CA Lottery officials that he would put the money toward his daughter’s education.
Scratchers are a great way to win also, according to Placer County resident Chad Fry. In August, Fry purchased a Scratchers Set For Life – Millionaire Edition ticket and won $20 million. He bought his $30 ticket at the Foothill Market at 13120 Lincoln Way in Auburn, using money from a construction side-job.
In September, a San Jose area woman also purchased a Scratchers Set For Life Millionaire Edition ticket. Mary Orozco won $20 million, opting to take the $11.6 million lump sum. Her ticket was sold at Ron’s Liquors, located at 1633 Flicklinger Avenue in San Jose.
Lake Forest resident Simon Maida also had good fortune with the Set For Life – Millionaire Edition. He won $20 million on the ticket sold at Village Wine & Spirits, 24301 Muirlands Boulevard in Lake Forest.
Sandra Norman won one of the larger Super Lotto Plus prizes in January. She won a prize worth $13 million on a ticket sold at Sunnymead Liquor, located at 24121 Sunnymead Boulevard in Moreno Valley. Norman used money made from recycling cans and bottles, getting herself a ticket while her kids got some snacks, she told lottery officials.
“The kids got chips and soda, and I got $13 million!” Norman said she planned on buying a bigger house and travel to wine country.
In February of 2022, Pasadena area resident Manoug Manougian won $10 million on a 10 Million Dollar Titanium Black ticket sold at Rafi’s 76 Station, located at 3678 E. Foothill Boulevard in Pasadena. He and his wife scratched to win millions while sitting in his car outside the station.
“When we saw all those zeroes, our hearts started pounding,” he said. The Manougians planned to invest their money and take a family trip.
One lucky lady won $10 million on a California 200X Scratcher at a Vons Grocery located at 18439 Ventura Boulevard in Tarzana quite by accident. LaQuedea Edwards put $40 in a Lottery Scratchers machine, was bumped, and accidentally pushed the wrong button. She scratched the $30 ticket and discovered she’d won the top prize.
“I almost crashed my car!” she said. “I just looked at it again, scanned it with my mobile app, and just kept thinking, this can’t be right!”
Derek Smith also had luck with scratchers. He spent $30 on a 10 Million Dollar Titanium Black ticket at an Irvine Pavillions located at 3901 Portola Parkway in Irvine to win $10 million. A frequent lottery player, he has played for about ten years, he said. “I have several vision boards and wrote, ‘I will scratch a $30 Scratchers for $10,000,000,” he said. He plans to help many people with his newfound wealth and take care of his mother.
A Mega Millions ticket sold in June earned one lucky player $7.7 million. The winner purchased the ticket at a CVS located at 303 South La Brea Avenue in Los Angeles. Shalom Katz only matched five numbers but still won more than $7 million in prize money. The store earned $35,000 in a bonus for making the winning ticket sale.
A Merced County resident won $5 million on a $5,000,000 Extreme Cash scratcher. Enrique Reynoso purchased the ticket at the Pennywise Travel Plaza at 12185 South Hwy 33 in Santa Nella.
There were a number of $5 million winners this year, starting with a Year of Fortune ticket. Genero Pulido Flores purchased his ticket at the Harrods Market and Furniture 112 E 6th Street in Hanford.
Another big winner of a Golden State Riches scratcher worth $5 million was Lisette Tabarez., who bought her ticket at the Oxnard Liquor Market, located at 6007 Lankershim Blvd North Hollywood.
Maria Magana scratched her way to $5 million with a West Coast Winnings ticket sold at Best Donut, located at 3991 S Western Avenue, Suite 1, in Los Angeles.
Another Year of Fortune scratcher worth the grand prize of $5 million was sold at a Long Beach 7-Eleven, located at 2600 Pacific Avenue. Miriam Valdez-Flores was the lucky winner of that prize.
A Riverside resident scratched his way to $5 million on the Millionaire Bucks game on a ticket purchased at JK Market, located at 3264 Maude Street in Riverside. Stephen Pownceby won the store’s first big lottery prize. The store’s owner earned a $25,000 bonus for making the sale. Owner Jay Patel said he planned to take a trip to Hawaii and invest in his business with his earnings.
Two lucky winners became millionaires by playing scratchers the same week, one in San Benito County and the other in Riverside County. Esparza Lupercio won on a West Coast Winnings ticket purchased at BMF Racing Company, located at 250 San Benito Street in Hollister.
“When I scratched it, I saw a lot of zeroes!” she said. “I could barely believe my eyes!”
She planned to buy a house and invest her newfound wealth.
Enrique Pacheco Maya won $5 million playing a 100X ticket that her husband bought her at Lucky 1 Food in Riverside. She said she only plays when her husband buys her tickets, and the pair never expected to win a prize like this. They planned to pay off their debts and buy a house and a car with their prize earnings.
There were many more million-dollar winners across the state, many of who are still being verified.
“We don’t confirm a winner until they are completely through the verification process,” Johnston said.
In January alone, three big winners earned nearly $70 million for California’s Public Schools, and that was just the start, according to Alva V. Johnson, Director of the California State Lottery. Johnson spoke on the boon for schools in 2022.
“Every dollar or more that a Lottery player spends in California supports our mission to raise money for public education,” Johnson said. “And the local stores that sell our games – our more than 23,000 retail partners across the state – benefit too from commissions and bonuses. So, whether a player hits a big jackpot, wins a smaller prize, or doesn’t win any cash at all – rest assured it’s still a win-win for the community and for California.”
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