The gas station owner who sold the $2 billion Powerball winner his ticket says he came to the US from Syria with just $14,000 hoping to live the American dream and now he’s a millionaire.
The 30-year-old hit the world’s biggest jackpot, opting for a lump sum of just under $1 billion after taxes rather than tiered payments.
“I knew the guy before he won, he came in every morning for coffee, donuts and tickets…then he disappeared,” Joe said.
“I thought he was mad at me or something had happened, but then someone told me he had won the money.”
Chahayed received $1 million from the California Lottery for the sale of the $2.04 billion ticket at his Altadena gas station.
“My family has six gas stations, they’re jealous of my win,” he chuckled while continuing to serve customers this week.
“I have 11 grandchildren and I give them the money for their studies and invest part of it, a few hundred thousand dollars.”
“I don’t smoke, I don’t do drugs, I don’t gamble, I don’t drink alcohol.
“I don’t want money for anything, I don’t want to give it to Vegas! I invest money.”
BACK TO WORK
Joe doesn’t feel like he’s lucky, despite having had several lottery winners, including a previous $1 million win.
Even a television reporter who covered the Billionaire Ticket early on raked in $500 on a scratch card at his store.
Meanwhile, Joe said he never questioned quitting his job and was the only one behind the counter when The US Sun visited him on Thursday.
“I got back to work at 6 a.m. the next day, I had no problem with that,” said humble Joe.
“I work for my sanity, I love people, the clients, and I like being around the public.
“I enjoy my work, I don’t want to sit around and do nothing.”
Although Joe posed for photos at the first press conference, Edwin decided not to speak to the media to avoid the spotlight.
Castro signed up for his prize in February after winning the draw in November.
California law required his name to be public and he has since been photographed in a $250,000 vintage Porsche.
As revealed by The US Sun, he has already bought other vehicles, along with a $25 million house alongside the superstar Ariana Grande in the Hollywood Hills above the Sunset Strip.
The house has a games room, wine cellar, gym, infinity pool and spa.
This is a five bedroom, seven bathroom home with 13,500 square feet of living space.
Edwin also invested $4 million in a smaller apartment near his old home in his hometown of Altadena.
The Japanese-inspired five-bedroom, four-bathroom home features high ceilings and white walls.