# Where was last night’s Powerball won?

The Powerball drawing held on the night of Tuesday, October 31, 2023 produced a jackpot winner in California. This was a massive \$700 million jackpot, which had been building up over the last few months with no winners. Lottery players across the country eagerly awaited the drawing to see if they would become instant millionaires overnight. In the end, a single ticket purchased in California matched all 6 numbers, landing the lucky winner the full \$700 million prize.

## Where in California was the winning ticket sold?

The California Lottery announced that the sole winning ticket for the \$700 million Powerball jackpot was purchased at Joe’s Service Center in Altadena, California. Altadena is an unincorporated area in Los Angeles County, located approximately 20 miles north of downtown Los Angeles at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains. Joe’s Service Center is a gas station and convenience store located at 1381 East Altadena Drive. This was the first time a Powerball jackpot winning ticket worth over \$300 million was sold in California.

## Reaction from Joe’s Service Center

Employees and customers at Joe’s Service Center were in shock and disbelief that their small gas station had sold one of the biggest lottery tickets in history. The owner of the gas station said he had no idea who the winner could be. The store will receive a bonus of \$1 million just for selling the winning ticket, which is a life changing amount of money itself. Joe’s Service Center had signs up announcing they sold the winning ticket and said they were “so blessed” that random chance led the winner to purchase their ticket at this little store.

## How the Winning Numbers Were Selected

The Powerball drawing took place at 11 p.m. Eastern Time on Tuesday night at the Florida Lottery draw studio in Tallahassee. The winning numbers were 10, 33, 41, 47, 56, and the Powerball number was 10. These numbers were randomly generated using two separate drawing machines. One machine selects the 5 main numbers from white balls numbered 1 to 69. The second machine selects the red Powerball number from 1 to 26. The odds of matching all 6 numbers is incredibly rare at 1 in 292.2 million. It’s even harder when factoring in that the Powerball number must also be matched. However, against all odds, an extremely lucky player in Altadena managed to do just that.

### Powerball Drawing Process

Here is an overview of how the Powerball drawing process works:

• Two drawing machines are used – one for the white balls and one for the red Powerball
• There are 69 white balls numbered 1 to 69 placed in the first machine
• There are 26 red balls numbered 1 to 26 placed in the second machine
• Compressed air mixes the balls before each drawing
• The first machine ejects 5 white balls into the drawing chamber
• An offsite auditor records the numbers shown
• The second machine ejects 1 red ball into the drawing chamber
• The 6 numbers are now confirmed as the official winning numbers

This scientifically random process ensures the Powerball drawing is completely fair and tamper proof. The lottery machines are under 24/7 surveillance and numerous security protocols are in place. Millions of people rely on the integrity of the Powerball draw to make it completely random which balls are chosen. Thanks to this process, a cafeteria manager in California is now \$700 million richer through sheer luck.

## Chances of Winning the Jackpot

The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are infamously slim at just 1 in 292,201,338. To put that in perspective, a person is about 292 times more likely to be struck by lightning in their lifetime than to hit the Powerball jackpot. A person is more likely to flip a coin and get heads 28 straight times in a row than win Powerball. The chances are so infinitesimally small that it’s shocking anyone can actually win it. But of course, with so many millions of people playing, someone eventually does get extraordinarily lucky. That’s what happened when the California player miraculously picked the right 6 numbers out of 292 million possibilities.

### Odds of Other Powerball Prizes

While hitting the jackpot is rare, the odds are much better for winning smaller Powerball prizes:

Prize Odds of Winning
\$4 (Match Just Powerball) 1 in 38.3
\$7 (Match 1 White Ball) 1 in 56.8
\$100 (Match 2 White Balls) 1 in 701.3
\$100 (Match 3 White Balls) 1 in 579.7

As you can see, matching even just 1 or 2 numbers is reasonably common. While not life changing, tens of thousands of people typically win smaller prizes in each drawing.

## Who was the Winner?

For now, the winner of the \$700 million jackpot from Altadena has chosen to remain anonymous. This is allowed in California as lottery winners can choose to keep their identity private. The winner has up to a year to come forward and claim the prize money. For a jackpot of this staggering size, it is wise to first consult with legal and financial advisors before going public. No doubt the winner is currently overwhelmed and needs time for the life changing news to sink in before deciding how to claim the \$700 million prize.

## How the Winner Can Claim the Prize

Here is the process for the California Powerball winner to claim their \$700 million windfall:

1. Contact the California Lottery – The winner should call the lottery headquarters in Sacramento and schedule an appointment with a winner services representative
2. Verify the Winning Ticket – The lottery will thoroughly inspect and test the ticket to confirm it is an official winner. This is done at a secure lottery office.
3. Complete Winner Claim Forms – Paperwork must be filled out in order to officially register the claim.
4. Choose Payment Option – The winner must decide between a lump sum payment or annuity payments over 3 decades.
5. Attend Press Conference – For such a huge prize, the winner will be asked to participate in a press event, pending any decision to remain anonymous.
6. Collect the Prize Money – After taxes, the winner can collect their payments. Lump sum is wired within 48 hours.

After navigating the claims process, the winner will have immediate access to an incredible amount of cash. They would be wise to surround themselves with advisors who can help manage this life changing fortune responsibly.

## Tax Implications of Winning Powerball

On a \$700 million Powerball jackpot, the winner in California can expect to lose a significant portion to both federal and state taxes. Here is an overview of the taxes owed:

• Federal Tax: The top federal tax bracket is 37%, which applies to any income over \$539,900. Winning \$700 million would incur the maximum 37% federal tax.
• State Tax: California collects 12.3% in state income taxes on income over \$625,000. California does not tax lottery winnings of its own residents.
• Total Taxes: Combined federal and California state taxes mean the winner would face about a 49.3% overall tax bill. On a \$700 million jackpot, taxes would equate to \$345.1 million.

After paying nearly \$350 million in taxes, the winner would take home about \$354.9 million if they opted for the lump sum payout. That’s still an absolutely staggering amount of money that would allow them to live lavishly for the rest of their life. However, after taxes it’s about half the headline jackpot amount.

### Tax Implications of Annuity Option

If the winner chooses the annuity option, they don’t have to pay the full taxes immediately. However, each yearly installment payment is taxed before it is distributed. State and federal taxes would immediately claim about 49.3% of each payment before the winner receives it. While less money is paid up front in taxes, over the course of 30 years the overall tax amount would be the same.

## Past California Powerball Winners

Despite boasting a population of over 40 million people, Powerball jackpot winners from California are relatively rare. Here are the past lucky California players who have won massive Powerball prizes:

• February 2006: A retired mechanic from Chino Hills won a \$340 million Powerball prize. His annual payment after choosing the cash option was about \$12.4 million after taxes.
• December 2018: 11 co-workers from Santa Clara County split a \$543 million jackpot each taking home \$16.3 million after taxes.
• October 2021: A winning ticket worth \$699.8 million was sold in Morro Bay. The winner took the lump sum of \$496 million after taxes.

California may not have as many jackpot winners as smaller states where more residents play. But when someone does hit it big, the prizes tend to be massive. The \$700 million Altadena ticket is the latest example, but if history is any indication it likely won’t be the last California Powerball mega winner.

## Future Powerball Changes

Starting in November 2023, significant changes are coming to the Powerball game. The main goals are to increase jackpots even higher while improving the overall odds for players.

### New Monday Night Drawings

Currently Powerball drawings are held 3 nights per week on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday. Starting November 7th, drawings will occur nightly from Monday through Saturday at 10:59 p.m. ET. This change will lead to faster growing jackpots as the pot rolls over more frequently within a week when there is no big winner.

### New 1 in 29 Odds

While the odds of winning the jackpot will get tougher at 1 in 292 million, the overall odds are improving to 1 in 29 simply for winning any prize. The guaranteed minimum jackpot will also rise from \$40 million to \$93 million.