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$425 million Powerball winner claims prize

MILPITAS, Calif. – The sole winner of February’s $425 million Powerball jackpot came forward to claim his prize Tuesday.

California Lottery officials said B. Raymond Buxton, a Northern California retiree, claimed the prize at the California Lottery headquarters in Sacramento. Buxton was wearing a shirt that featured a picture of Yoda and read, “Luck of the Jedi I have,” according to lottery officials.

The one winning ticket for the Feb. 19 drawing was sold at a convenience store in the San Francisco Bay Area city of Milpitas, about 10 miles north of San Jose.

The $425 million jackpot is one of the largest lottery jackpots in U.S. history, though far from the record. The nation’s biggest lottery prize was a $656 million dollar Mega Millions jackpot in 2012. The biggest Powerball jackpot was a $590.5 million last May.

Lottery officials said Buxton chose to take a lump sum payment of $242.2 million before taxes.

The ticket was sold at a Chevron station in Milpitas. Lottery officials said Buxton was getting lunch at a Subway restaurant at the station’s convenience store when he decided to buy another ticket since the jackpot was so large, lottery officials said. He bought a single Quick Pick ticket for $2 that turned out to be the winner.

“ ‘Unbelievable!’ is all I could muster,” Buxton said, as he described the moment he found out he hit the jackpot, according to a news release from the state lottery. “I sat in front of the computer for hours in disbelief, frequently checking and rechecking the numbers across multiple sources. Once the initial shock passed I couldn’t sleep for days.”

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