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$699.8 million Powerball winner from California steps forward to claim jackpot

Dec 12, 2021, 3:27 pm

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The winner of the seventh-largest lottery prize in U.S. history now has a name

Includes audio report

By Kate Northrop

The California Lottery announced on Thursday that the winner of the largest jackpot ever won in the state was finally claimed by a winning ticketholder from Morro Bay.

Just a few months ago in October, the nearly $700 million Powerball jackpot had lottery players across the country on the edge of their seats. Now, there is finally a name to the winner of the fifth-largest Powerball jackpot ever and the seventh-largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history.

The lone winner of the whopping $699.8 million Powerball jackpot is Scott Godfrey, who walked into Morro Bay Alberstons on Quintana Road in Morro Bay and bought ten lines of Powerball Quick Picks for $20. Little did he know that he would be the one person to walk away from the drawing over a half a billion dollars richer.

One of the plays on his ticket matched all five numbers 12, 22, 54, 66, and 69 plus the Powerball number 15 drawn on Oct. 4, 2021. While he had ten lines of Quick Picks to check, he didn't have to look at the lottery results for long — the six winning numbers were at sitting on the top row of the ticket.

"You never really expect to win the Lottery, let alone a jackpot this big," Godfrey told the Lottery. "And — as you can imagine — I did a double take, no, more than a double take — a triple take, and when I saw I won, in fact, I asked someone to take a look and confirm what I was seeing."

Godfrey is a winner of historic proportions, becoming the winner of the largest jackpot ever won in the state. California is also the first state to record a jackpot win for a Monday Powerball drawing since a third draw was launched in August.

"It feels great to win big, of course, but I'm especially happy that this jackpot means $78 million was raised for California public education," Godfrey continued. "Even the times I played in the past and didn't win, I always felt, well at least a few bucks of this will be going to help schools."

After beating the overwhelming 1 in 292,201,338 odds of winning the Powerball jackpot, Godfrey opted to take the lump-sum prize of nearly $496 million before taxes. The Albertsons grocery store in Morro Bay will receive a $1 million commission for selling the winning ticket, the maximum bonus offered to retailers.

The $699.8 million Powerball jackpot had grown since June, when a ticket sold in Florida won a $285.6 million jackpot. The Oct. 4 drawing was the 41st since the last winner, making this the longest jackpot roll in Powerball history.

"The sole mission of the California Lottery is to raise extra money for California's public education programs," Lottery Director Alva V. Johnson said. "It's always fun to have a big winner in our state, and it's especially nice when they recognize the importance of why we do what we do. I'm proud that the Lottery has given schools more than $39 billion since we began the very first games back in 1985."

According to the Lottery, Godfrey is declining all further media interviews.

"We are private people, and we intend to stay that way," Godfrey said in a press release. "We've also, for a long time, been involved in charitable activities, and now we can really scale those efforts to take full appreciation of this blessing. This money is not about me. It's about all of the good that can come from it."

AUDIO: Listen to the winner

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