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California Lottery announces back-to-back billion-dollar winners

California Lottery had some billion-dollar wins in 2023!

California Lottery announces back-to-back billion-dollar winners
Still image from KTLA 5's coverage of the California Lottery press conference held on October 12, 2023, when they rewarded the retailer who sold the winning $1.08 billion Powerball ticket. Photograph credit to KTLA 5.

The winner of last summer's $1.08 billion Powerball jackpot has been announced by the California Lottery.

The winning ticket was sold in downtown Los Angeles, and the name of the big winner has finally been revealed.

$1.08 billion Powerball jackpot winner

In July 2023, the Powerball jackpot reached $1.08 billion after no one matched all the winning numbers in 39 drawings. That winless streak came to an end when a lucky ticket purchased at Las Palmitas Mini Market in downtown Los Angeles matched all the numbers.

Now, the California Lottery has announced the lucky holder of that winning ticket: Yanira Alvarez.

In California, every jackpot winner has the option of taking their jackpot winnings over 30 annual payments or the cash value of the prize up front. For Alvarez, she chose the latter, which totaled $558.1 million prior to federal taxes.

Back-to-back billion-dollar winning tickets sold in California

Not only did Alvarez win the $1.08 billion Powerball drawing, but she also started a billion-dollar winning streak for the state.

Alvarez was the first of two billion-dollar winning tickets sold in California. The other big win took place in October 2023, when a $1.7 billion Powerball ticket was sold at Midway Market in Frazier Park. The California Lottery previously announced that a group won that prize. For both big wins, the winners declined to make any public comment.

Public education for the win also

Yes, the state of California had back-to-back billion-dollar winners for the Powerball drawings in 2023. However, another big winner for the state was public education.

The sole mission of the California Lottery is to raise supplemental funding for public schools, including K-12 and higher education. Because of the buzz around these big jackpots, ticket sales increased, and it resulted in an estimated $197.9 million in additional funding for schools.

The California Lottery Director Harjinder K. Shergill Chima said:

We can't thank our players enough for their help in supporting California's public schools. Our mission is what drives us every day, and while jackpot prizes change lives for the big winners, they're also making an important difference in the lives of students and teachers in classrooms across the state.

California Lottery mission

As stated above, the mission of the California Lottery is to raise additional funding for public education. Not only does it help supplement school budgets for K-12 schools but also for colleges and universities in the state.

Since 1985, the Lottery has raised more than $43.8 billion for public schools through the sale of its games. This funding is largely discretionary, so school officials can use Lottery money for instructional programs and services they may not otherwise afford.

To help raise that money, the California Lottery features eight draw games and dozens of new instant Scratchers games every year. When it comes to the sales revenue for the California Lottery, more than 95% of it goes back to the community through prize payments, retailer commissions and bonuses, and contributions to education.

Enjoy playing the California Lottery, and please remember to play responsibly.