Four mechanics from San Diego County who pooled together their money to buy Powerball tickets have come forward to claim a winning ticket worth a cool $638,146.
California Lottery officials announced Friday that a group of four co-workers from Chula Vista will share the hefty prize from a lucky Powerball ticket purchased on Jan. 9 at a 7-Eleven store at 290 I St., about 11 miles from downtown San Diego.
The ticket matched five out of six numbers – 4, 8, 19, 27, 34 – in the Jan. 13 drawing for the record-setting $1.586 billion jackpot, missing only the Powerball number of 10.
The mechanics’ ticket was unbelievably close to a perfect match, as their Powerball number pick on their lucky ticket was 11.
California Lottery officials said one of the mechanics, Paul Pineda, organized the small lottery pool and bought 10 $2 Quick Pick tickets for himself and his three co-workers after he heard the Powerball jackpot had soared to more than $1 billion.
When the Jan. 13 drawing came around, the group was shocked.
“I really never check my tickets the night of the drawing,” Pineda told lotto officials. “I sent out a text picture of the tickets to everyone in the pool. They were all calling me Thursday morning after the drawing and saying we had won!”
Pineda said their luck left him and his co-workers speechless.
“I still can’t believe it. It’s crazy. I still don’t know what to think about this one,” he exclaimed.
Though Pineda and his pals were literally just one number away from winning part of $1.586 billion, the mechanic said he’s grateful for the good fortune.
“I am just happy we won something,” he told California Lottery.
Pineda said he has won the lottery before, so he has a bit of a lucky streak, bringing home prizes of $5,000, $1,000 and a few $500 wins on other tickets.
For now, as the foursome divides their winnings, some of their plans include taking vacations, paying off bills and helping out family members with the money.
Like a true gearhead, one mechanic told California Lottery officials he plans to buy new tires for his pickup truck, too.
According to California Lottery officials, this is only the third ticket claimed so far out of the 12 Powerball tickets that matched five of the six numbers in the Jan. 13 drawing.
The winners in this bunch are known as the “California Lucky Dozen.”
The nine tickets that remain unclaimed are also each worth $638,146. Those tickets were sold at the following locations throughout California:
1) Primm Valley Lotto (15 & Stateline, Nipton – San Bernardino County)
2) Larkfield Union (4605 Old Redwood Hwy., Santa Rosa – Sonoma County)
3) Jerry’s Liquor (2923 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica – Los Angeles County)
4) Tustin Fuel & Market (16851 McFadden Ave., Tustin – Orange County)
5) 7-Eleven (2000 Nut Tree Rd., Vacaville – Solano County)
6) Quik Stop #4141 (601 N. Cloverdale Blvd., Cloverdale – Sonoma County)
7) 7-Eleven (1601 W. Redlands Blvd., Redlands – San Bernardino County)
8) Ted’s Liquor Store (18303 S. Western Ave., Gardena – Los Angeles County)
9) Spot Not Auto Wash & Gas (15612 Arrow Hwy., Irwindale – Los Angeles County)
California’s biggest winner in this Powerball drawing came out of Chino Hills, a perfect match ticket purchased at a 7-Eleven on Chino Hills Parkway that earned part of the giant $1.586 billion jackpot.
That lottery player – who has yet to come forward, as of Friday – will split the pot with winners in Tennessee and Florida. California Lottery officials said it taken out over 30 years, each jackpot winner gets $528.8 million, or a one-time payout of $327.8 million.