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Press release

May 23, 2013

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May, 2013 | Winners Stories | Northern California

Student Claims Multi-Million Dollar POWERBALL® Prize!


SACRAMENTO – It’s the news we’ve been waiting for. We now know who purchased one of the two tickets that matched five numbers in Saturday’s historic POWERBALL draw. These tickets missed the record POWERBALL jackpot by just one number, but are each worth $2,309,228! Not a bad consolation prize, and you’ll soon see that it’s not a bad story either!

Michael Garcia bought his lucky POWERBALL ticket in San Jose. He’s only 22 and a full-time student at San Jose City College. We found out that his education played a role before, during, and after his win.

As many of you know this is finals week on many California campuses. So, late last week Michael said he dragged himself to a nearby 7-Eleven, located at 2440 Almaden Expressway in San Jose (Santa Clara County), to buy two Monster energy drinks. You see, he needed a jump start to continue studying for his exams.

“A guy in front of me bought tickets, so I decided to get some too,” said Michael, who bought nine tickets for the POWERBALL draw. Late Saturday night, Michael said he stopped doing his homework to check his numbers on the Lottery website and that’s where he found out he won! Now get this, it was exam time, after all, so he was busy. Michael didn’t bother to check how much he had won because after cramming for his exams this hard-working student had to go to his night job as a security guard. “Time went by super slow,” said Michael, when we asked him how he could concentrate at work knowing he was a Lottery winner. “The time was ticking. I didn’t know what to do.”

He knew enough not to carry such a valuable piece of paper around. So, Michael did what we urge all of our Lottery players to do: he signed the back of his ticket and kept it in a safe place. “I handed off the ticket to my brother so I wouldn’t go to work with it.”

Michael didn’t know until the following day that his study-break trip to 7-Eleven had catapulted him to millionaire status. Still down-to-earth, our newest millionaire tells us his win doesn’t change things.

“I keep telling my Mom that it’s still not a lot, the way the economy is.” Spoken just like a guy who’s been working since he was 17 and who “hasn’t had a break since.” No, when it comes to his newfound wealth Michael wants to remain focused, and for the last few days that meant getting through his finals. Now that that’s done he wants to regroup and finally get to work fully studying his options. “I still don’t know,” said Michael. “I’m trying to be more cautious than anything.”

Both 2nd place tickets successfully matched the numbers 22, 10, 13, 14, 52, missing only the Powerball number 11. They have something else in common. Like Michael’s, the other winning ticket was sold at a 7-Eleven convenience store. That one is located at 1124 6th Street in Taft (Kern County).  The other ticket has not been claimed.

One ticket sold in Florida hit the jackpot. The grand prize, an estimated $590.5 million, is a record amount for the POWERBALL game. We still don’t know who won.

California began selling POWERBALL tickets on April 8, 2013 as part of the Lottery’s mission to increase supplemental funds for California’s public schools and colleges. It is projected that adding this to our portfolio of games will help generate an additional $50 million for public education in our state. 

The California Lottery reminds winners to sign the back of their ticket, keep tickets in a safe place and contact Lottery officials or visit their local Lottery District Office as soon as possible. Winners have 180 days from the date of the draw to claim prizes. The jackpot can be claimed for up to a year from the date of the POWERBALL draw.

POWERBALL is a multistate game, played in California and 44 other jurisdictions (42 states plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands). Players pick five numbers from 1 to 59 plus a Powerball number from 1 to 35. Draw times are Wednesdays and Saturdays at 7:59 p.m. PST. Tickets sales are suspended from 7:00 p.m. to 7:05 p.m. the day of the draw. Tickets are $2 and can be purchased from any of the more than 21,000 California Lottery retailers. Please visit the California Lottery’s POWERBALL site for more information. 

And remember, checking the daily draw results is easier than ever. All past and current Lottery draw results can be obtained for FREE by dialing 1-800-LOTTERY and selecting option 1, or via our website at

The mission of the California Lottery is to provide supplemental funding to California schools while simultaneously supporting local communities. More than 96 cents of every dollar spent by our players goes back to local communities in the form of contributions to public schools and colleges, prizes and retail compensation. The California Lottery urges its customers to play responsibly and within their budgets. If you feel you have a gambling problem, or know someone who does, you can get help at 1-800-GAMBLER.

See More Press Releases: May, 2013 | Winners Stories | Northern California