The family-run gas station is just off Highway 880, with an attached carwash and Subway sandwich shop. The parking lot was crowded Feb. 20 morning with television news vans while inside the store, dozens of reporters and photographers crowded the aisles of snack foods as Singh talked about his surprise at hearing the news. The store’s regular customers bantered about the prospect that one of them could have been the winner. Singh said his father, Kulwinder Singh, owns the store but was en route to India and wasn’t expected to hear about the $1 million prize until after he landed in New Delhi around 11 a.m. PST Feb. 20 and called the family. He had given his son his cellphone before leaving to avoid any business headaches that might come up during his absence, Singh said. He planned to tease his dad before breaking the news. His parents are humble people, he said, so he didn’t expect them to splurge on anything. The family would likely reinvest the money in their chain of eight gas stations, he said.
Singh and employees at the store did not know who the winner could be, though he hoped it was one of the store’s regular customers. The winner has up to a year to come forward and claim the prize and could opt for a lump sum payment of $242.2 million, according to state lottery officials. They advised the person with the winning ticket to immediately sign it and consult an attorney, accountant or financial planner (As of India-West’s press time nobody had come forward).
The winning numbers — 1, 17, 35, 49, 54 and a Powerball of 34 — were drawn Feb. 19. Only one ticket matched all the winning numbers, Powerball officials said. The $425 million jackpot was the sixth largest jackpot in U.S. history and the fourth largest Powerball jackpot, state lottery officials said. (AP)