After purchasing a ticket in Altadena in November, Edwin Castro came forward this month to claim the $2.04 billion Powerball prize.
He was the only person to win the highest lottery jackpot in history, but California may have had two jackpot winners if one number on a ticket sold 28 miles to the south had been different.
Castro's ticket was the only one to match all six winning numbers for the November 7 drawing: 10, 33, 41, 47, 56, and red Powerball 10. The California Lottery reported that a ticket purchased at Stues Dairy in Gardena missed Castro's winning ticket by one number.
The winning ticket purchased by Ana Contreras was worth $1,149,661, which was less than Castro's prize because Castro chose the cash settlement, which was only half the value of the jackpot.
Reasons behind why the $2.04 billion Powerball jackpot winner only received $997.6 million as payment
It is more than the value of the 22 winning tickets for the record-breaking Powerball jackpot drawing, three of which were sold in California, that had five matching numbers.
Powerball states that the reward for such tickets is $1 million, with the potential for multipliers if the ticketholder selected the Power Play option.
According to California's pari-mutuel prize amounts for non-jackpot wins, Contreras' payout exceeded the customary $1 million in this instance. Due to ticket sales and the number of winners, fixed prizes can change.
In 2013, a ticket purchased in Stone Mountain, Georgia, along with Steve Tran of California, both matched all six winning numbers for the $648 million Mega Millions prize. $324 million went to both winners.
Moreover, Stues Dairy gets a bonus for selling Contreras' ticket of roughly $6,000. It has not yet been determined who will receive the other two California-sold tickets worth a combined $1,149,661 from the second-tier reward.
During the Powerball's unprecedented lead up to the $2.04 billion jackpot in the fall, $156.3 million was donated to California's public schools, which get funding from the state's lottery sales.