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 man, claimed the prize at the California Lottery headquarters in Sacramento.
“‘Unbelievable!’ is all I could muster,” Buxton said Tuesday. “Once the initial shock passed, I couldn’t sleep for days.”
After the winning numbers were announced, Buxton said, he sat in front of his computer in disbelief, checking and rechecking his ticket — and telling no one else that he had won. “Sitting on a ticket of this value was very scary,” he said.
When he claimed his prize Tuesday, Buxton was wearing a shirt that featured a picture of the Star Wars character Yoda and read, “Luck of the Jedi I have.”
According to his publicist Sam Singer, one reason that Buxton came forward on April 1 — April Fool’s Day — is simply that he has a healthy sense of humor.
Buxton has been working since February with an attorney and financial adviser to establish new bank accounts, set up a charity and sort out tax issues.
“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.
Buxton also plans to stay out of the limelight and doesn’t want to speak directly to the media, Singer said. He also won’t reveal his age, address or what he did for a living until recently.
Buxton chose to take a lump-sum payment of $242.2 million before taxes, lottery officials said.