Officials from the California Lottery announced the winner of last year’s $1.764 billion Powerball jackpot, which was the second largest ever.

Theodorus Struyck represented a group of winners who purchased the ticket last October from Midway Market in the community of Frazier Park of Kern County.

Midway Market—which has been a family-owned business for 30 years—has received a bonus check of $1 million for selling the ticket. The store co-owner Nidal Khalil said that it was the most “exciting news to ever happen to Frazier Park.”

The massive lottery win came after 35 drawings were missed in that Powerball sequence. California Lottery Director Harjinder K. Shergill Chima stated that big wins such as the one collected “gives all our players the chance to hope and dream that they could be next.”

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Struyck is not the first to win a recent billion-dollar jackpot in California, however. Less than a year ago, a $1 billion ticket was purchased from Las Palmitas Mini Market in Los Angeles. That jackpot winner, who has not yet been identified, was joined by seven other Californians who matched five out of six numbers in the July 19 drawing, each of whom went home $448,750 richer.

In November 2022, Edwin Castro of Altadena drew the numbers for the largest lottery prize in U.S. history: $2.04 billion. That ticket was sold at Joe’s Service Center, which means that owner Joe Chahayed also cashed in a million dollar earning. One of Chahayed’s sons stated that there was “no one else who deserved it more than [their father].”

Players quickly lined up across the state for a chance to win two jackpot prizes that were approaching the billion-dollar mark, estimated at $600 million according to the California Lottery’s website. As of now, the Mega Millions has increased to $977 million. One winning ticket for 5 matching numbers has been drawn for $1,748,612. Meanwhile, the Powerball Lottery rests at $750 million and will be drawn on Saturday, March 23. 

According to an article from July 19, 2023, from, the chances of winning a Powerball Jackpot, no matter the size, “stand near 1 in 292.2 million.” The chances of taking home a Mega Millions’ top prize are even lower, at about 1 in 302.6 million.

Common comparisons to winning the lottery include getting struck by lightning, especially in recent years, as the lottery has become harder to win. Winners generally take home an annuity that is distributed over 29 years or a smaller cash payout as a result. 

Matthew Kovach, an assistant professor in Virginia Tech’s economics department, told The Associated Press that lottery tickets are “definitely not good investments” and that “they’re not even investments” because there’s an “expectation that you will always lose money.”

Lia Nower, a professor and director of the Center for Gambling Studies at Rutgers University, previously told the Associated Press that her concern is “with people who are buying [the lottery] every day or two to three times a week.” 

Experts urge individuals to use caution when purchasing lottery tickets, saying that you should not spend all of your money, or even a substantial sum of it, on lottery tickets.