Residents in Chino Hills rejoiced Wednesday night upon learning a local 7-Eleven store sold one of three winning tickets in this week's unprecedented Powerball game with a $1.6 billion jackpot.
More than a hundred people packed a 7-Eleven store chanting "Chino Hills" to celebrate the historic win in the usually-quiet suburb city of about 75,000 residents.
"It's exciting to know that somebody from our little city won. It's so exciting -- I'm excited for them and I don't even know who it is," said resident Claudia Gonzales.
U.S. & World
California Lottery officials confirmed Wednesday that only three winning tickets had been sold in the United States. Those were sold in Chino Hills, California, as well as Tennessee, and Florida.
State lottery officials confirmed one jackpot-winning ticket was sold at the 7-Eleven at 4092 Chino Hills Parkway in Chino Hills, in southwest San Bernardino County.
Hundreds of people, from news crews to gawkers, crowded the store and spilled into its parking lot. They cheered and mugged for TV cameras as if it were New Year's Eve or a sporting event, celebrating with at least one smiling store employee who became an instant celebrity and the subject of several selfie photos.
"The last three days, very crazy busy," said clerk M Farqui. "I'm very happy."
The 7-Eleven will get a $1 million bonus for selling the winning ticket. Many visitors chanted, "Chino Hills! Chino Hills!" in celebration of the city about 35 miles east of Los Angeles.
"I'm just excited to know that somebody from our little city won," said Claudia Gonzales. "I'm excited for them, I don't ever know who it is."
Owner Balbir Atwal described the celebration as one big family party. Atwal moved to the United States from India in the early 1980s and opened four 7-Eleven stores, including the Chino Hills location about 21 years ago.
Lottery officials don't yet know whether that winning player or players will have to share the jackpot with other winners. The Powerball game is played in 44 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands.
Officials also said 12 tickets were sold in California that matched five of the six winning numbers but not the Powerball number. Officials are still determining the amount that those tickets are worth. They were sold in Chula Vista, Cloverdale, Gardena, Irwindale, Nipton, Pacoima, Redlands, Santa Cruz, Santa Monica, Santa Rosa, Tustin and Vacaville.
The winning numbers drawn tonight were 4, 8, 19, 27, 34 and the Powerball number was 10.
The final jackpot for hitting all six numbers tonight was pegged at $1.586 billion, a record for any U.S. lottery game.
California leads the country in Powerball ticket sales. Long lines were a common sight at Lottery retailers across the Southland today as Powerball players dreaming of riches plunked down their money for a shot at the record- setting sum.
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Wednesday's drawing was the 20th since the last time someone matched all six numbers.
City News Service and Toni Guinyard contributed to this report.