A Northern California retiree (and Star Wars fan) has claimed the $425 million Powerball jackpot from February, California Lottery officials and the man’s publicist announced Tuesday.
Ray Buxton selected the cash option, which lottery officials said works out to about $242.2 million before federal taxes, according to a press release from Singer Associates in San Francisco. He bought the single winning ticket at a gas station in Milpitas, near San Jose.
He plans to use his winnings to travel and establish a foundation to combat child hunger and promote pediatric health and education.
“Once the initial shock passed, I couldn’t sleep for days,” said Buxton, who went to Sacramento to collect his fortune. Lottery officials said he wore a Star Wars shirt featuring Yoda that read, “Luck of the Jedi I have.”
He said he told no one and has spent many hours at the computer rechecking his winning numbers for the sixth-largest Powerball jackpot in history.
“Sitting on a ticket of this value was very scary,” said Buxton, who has regularly played the lottery for two decades. “It’s amazing how a little slip of paper can change your life.”
He’s been working with an attorney and other professionals “on how to pragmatically utilize this windfall.”
“My longer-term plan is trying to find a way to live a normal and discreet life,” said Buxton, adding that he won’t be doing media interviews “at this time.”
As a mega Star Wars fan, what would you do if you won that much money? Comment below! Personally, I would have a sections of my new home built to look like various Star Wars environments that displayed my collection. Then I would hire the most passionate Star Wars collectors and really build out a Star Wars network of fan sites with custom software to do exactly what we need to do. Off the shelf software is not ideal, especially for covering events. Having a TEAM covering trade events with LIVE in-depth coverage instead of just a few of us getting only a couple of hours of sleep a night to bring you the latest coverage. How about an interactive social network (web and mobile) to help catalog and value your collection? Oh the possibilities. One can dream…