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California Powerball jackpot winner buys Altadena home for $3.98 million


The winner of the $2-billion Powerball jackpot bought his second multimillion-dollar home in recent weeks, dropping $3.98 million on an Altadena house not far from where he purchased his life-changing lottery ticket.

Edwin Castro, who came forward last month as California Lottery’s first billionaire winner, closed on the Altadena home not long after purchasing a $25.5-million home in Hollywood Hills. He bought the second house through a limited liability company, public records show, as he did with the Hollywood Hills mansion.

Since Castro collected his prize — choosing a lump sum of nearly $1 billion — he has returned once to the Altadena gas station where he bought the Powerball ticket, said Joseph Chahayed, the owner of Joe’s Mobile Service.

“He just came to tell me, ‘Thank you. This changed my life,” Chahayed said in an interview Friday.

Although Castro declined to speak publicly after accepting his prize, he said in a statement that he was “shocked and ecstatic” about winning, and was glad to learn that California public schools would also receive a large check from the deal.

In their brief conversation, Castro told Chahayed that he was hoping to find a way to help unhoused youth with his newfound fortune, the gas station owner said.

“I encouraged him to be generous,” Chahayed said. “I hope he [doesn’t] waste it; he can use it for good.”

The single-story Altadena house Castro bought was built in 1953 and sits on almost three-quarters of an acre. It includes five bedrooms, five bathrooms and a saltwater pool, according the listing. Described as Japanese-inspired modern, the 4,361-square-foot home is only about three miles from the gas station on West Woodbury Road where he bought the winning Powerball ticket in November.

Chahayed said Castro used to come into the gas station regularly to buy coffee, a pastry and a lottery ticket, but after the Powerball winner was announced, he seemingly disappeared.

“He got the lucky one,” Chahayed said.

And now, others in the area are hoping the luck at the gas station will continue.

“The lottery sales [have] increased, like triple time,” Chahayed said. He said there have been some other winners since Castro, but nothing close to the historic Powerball win.

Times staff writer Jack Flemming contributed to this report.

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