Record-Breaking Powerball Ticket Was Sold at Store Owned By This NFL Star’s Father-In-Law

by Emily Morgan
Photo by: MediaNews Group/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images / Contributor

We may not know the identity of the most recent Powerball winner, but we know who sold the cool $2.04 billion winning ticket. In addition, the identity may surprise you if you’re a sports fan.

The store owner, who’s now $1 million richer for selling the winning ticket in California, is Joe Chahayed. The father-of-five immigrated to the states from Syria with his wife and first two kids in the 1980s.

On Tuesday, he was grinning ear-to-ear as a crowd gathered at Joe’s Mobil station in Altadena, California.

“I’m 75, still young. I will be here tomorrow at 6 o’clock. I love work,” revealed Chahayed, who obviously has no plans for retiring despite his payday. He even rocked a California Lottery hat and matching T-shirt that read, “Millionaire Made Here.”

The identity of the Powerball winner, who hit the jackpot with all six numbers: 10, 33, 41, 47, 56, and a Powerball of 10, has not yet been revealed to the public.

“Somebody is holding onto a very important piece of paper this morning worth $2.04 billion,” California Lotto spokeswoman Carolyn Becker told reporters.

However, the 75-year-old was thrilled to share news of his own paycheck, which he plans to share with his 11 grandchildren and the rest of his family.

Chahayed is also the father-in-law of former Cincinnati Bengals nose tackle Domata Peko.

“My Father In-Law Sold the winning PowerBall 2 billion $ Congratulations Baba,” the former NFL player posted after the news was revealed in his Instagram story.

Store owner $1 million richer for selling Powerball ticket, has no plans to stop working

Chahayed’s son Danny, who helps run the decades-old business, said he hopes the big winner “is actually from the community, so that way they know the struggles of the people around here and they can give back.”

He also told his dad that he should now retire and settle down. However, Chahayed has no plans for that. Chahayed said his store had sold a few winning Super Lotto and Fantasy 5 tickets in the past, bringing the buyers $8,000 to $9,000, but nothing like the record-breaking Powerball.

According to the Multi-State Lottery Association, the odds of matching all five numbers and the Powerball number is 1 in 292.2 million.

“I’m happy for California, I’m happy for L.A.,” Chahayed said later. “I’m more happy for Altadena. There are a lot of poor people here — they deserve it,” he added.

On Tuesday, neighbors and customers from the community gathered to hug and congratulate Chahayed.

“He deserves it,” longtime patron and friend Kenny Devine told news outlets. “He’s just an excellent person … everybody loves Joe. This is the only place I get my gas, even when the prices go up.”