$425 million Powerball winner wants privacy


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The winner of one of the largest
Powerball jackpots in history has finally come forward — but he still
hasn’t quite revealed his identity.
B. Raymond Buxton, a Northern
California man, waited more than a month to accept his prize on Tuesday
at the California Lottery headquarters in Sacramento.
In a photo
taken after he claimed the money on Tuesday, Buxton was covering his
face with an oversize check for $425 million. Perhaps the only clue to
his identity was his unusual shirt, which featured a picture of the Star
Wars character Yoda and read, "Luck of the Jedi I have."
really wants to live a private life as best he can," Buxton’s publicist
Sam Singer told The Associated Press. "He was a solidly middle-class
American, and today he is a solidly wealthy one."
Buxton is hoping
to remain 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 his very recent retirement.
One reason
that Buxton waited to come forward on April 1 — April Fool’s Day — is
simply that he has a healthy sense of humor, Singer said. "He still
can’t believe it’s not a prank on him. But the reality is Ray Buxton is
the winner."
Another reason is that 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 Tuesday
in a prepared statement.
Buxton bought the sole winning ticket for
the Feb. 19 drawing at the Dixon Landing Chevron station in the San
Francisco Bay Area city of Milpitas, about 10 miles north of San Jose.
was getting lunch at a Subway restaurant inside the station when he
decided to buy another ticket because the jackpot was so large, lottery
officials said.
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.
"Once the initial shock passed, I couldn’t sleep for days," Buxton said in the statement on
$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 in May.
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.
amazing how a little slip of paper can change your life," said Buxton,
who estimates that he has been playing the lottery for 20 years.
odds of matching all six Powerball numbers are 1 in about 175 million,
according to statistics from the Multi-State Lottery Association in
Powerball is played in 43 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Associated Press writer Sudhin Thanawala contributed reporting from San Francisco.
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