The owner of Joe’s Service Center in Altadena, California, who came to the United States from Syria in 1980 with $14,000 in his pocket, is now a millionaire after selling the only winning Powerball lottery ticket.
California Lottery officials presented the check to Joe Chahayed and his sons Joe Jr. and Danny on a rainy Election Day outside his gas station.
Chahayed said lottery officials were waiting for him before he opened his store this morning. “They told me, ‘Congratulations, his station delivered a winner,'” he recounted. Chahayed hopes the winner is from the neighborhood and is glad that some of the lottery money goes to California schools.
“I have 11 grandchildren and I have to share with them,” he said, thanking the media for coming out in the rain to celebrate the award. “I encourage you to buy a ticket at this station. We guarantee that one day you too will be a winner,” Chahayed said.