When California Powerball winner B. Raymond Buxton went to claim his $425 million Powerball jackpot prize on Tuesday, April Fools' Day, he wore a T-shirt with "Star Wars" character Yoda dressed as a leprechaun that said "Luck of the Jedi I have."
The Northern California man won Powerball's $425 million jackpot from February
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Buxton had been sitting on the winning ticket since he purchased it on Feb. 19 from a Chevron gas station in the California city of Milpitas, near San Jose. Buxton had reportedly stopped in to buy a sandwich. He had already purchased one Powerball ticket but felt inclined to put another $2 down for a second ticket. That decision made him millions of dollars richer.
According to lottery officials, Buxton chose to take a lump-sum payment of $242.2 million before taxes.
Over the past six weeks, the retiree, whose age was not released, had been working with a team of financial advisers and an attorney to plan how he will use his new-found wealth. He plans to travel and create charities aimed at helping children, The Associated Press reported
"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 in the statement.
"It's amazing how a little slip of paper can change your life," Buxton added.
Buxton refused to provide his address or say what he had done for a living prior to retiring. He hired publicist Sam Singer to speak with the media on his behalf.
"He really wants to live a private life as best he can," Singer told reporters. "He was a solidly middle-class American, and today he is a solidly wealthy one."
This is the second time in a matter of several months that a person near San Jose has won a large lottery jackpot.
In December, Northern California delivery truck driver Steve Tran claimed a $173.8 million cash prize for having one of two winning Mega Millions tickets for a jackpot of $636 million. The ticket's value was reduced after federal taxes and the lump sum cash prize option was applied to his winnings.
Buxton's $425 million jackpot is the sixth largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history. 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 last May.
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