Schools Across California Split $37.8 Million From This Big Win
RELEASE DATE: 1/24/2023
SACRAMENTO – Edward Lojewski is a self-admitted creature of habit. Every single Friday, he goes to breakfast, visits friends, and then he buys Lottery tickets at a nearby 7-Eleven. He always buys exactly two tickets each for the weekend’s upcoming draws for Mega Millions, Powerball®, and Super Lotto Plus®, and he always buys Quick Picks®, allowing the computer to choose what he hopes will be winning numbers.
Lojewski was excited when the Mega Millions jackpot reached $494 million back in October and even more excited when he realized he hit every single number! Turns out, Lojewski won half of that jackpot, splitting it with another player in Florida, making each ticket worth $247 million.
“I watched the news and saw the winning retailer and knew that was where I bought my tickets,” explained Lojewski, who decided to check his tickets after seeing that. “As soon as I saw I matched the first two numbers, I knew I won.”
Lojewski’s win concluded a jackpot sequence that began in August of 2022 and rolled 21 times. California’s public schools get an estimated $37.8 million just from that Mega Millions jackpot run.
Lojewski, who declined to be available for media interviews, tells the California Lottery he plans to invest, take care of family, and donate to some charities.“I’m at the point in my life where I don’t need toys. I have everything I need,” he said. “I’ve been married a long time, but I love my wife more and more every day!”
The lucky 7-Eleven where he bought the ticket is at 1413 Kooser Road in San Jose, and that store ets the maximum bonus of $1 million just for selling it.
Mega Millions draws happen twice weekly, on Tuesdays and Fridays at 8 p.m. PT. Tonight’s jackpot is an estimated $31 million. Tickets are $2 each, and the odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 302,575,350. The jackpot, however, isn’t the only way to win. There are nine ways to earn a prize, and the overall odds of winning something at any prize level are 1 in 24.
The California Lottery’s mission is to provide supplemental funding to California public schools, including kindergarten and grades 1-12, community colleges, the California State University, the University of California, and other California public educational entities. The funds the Lottery transferred to public education totaled more than $1.88 billion for fiscal year 2020-21, which amounted to a modest percentage of education’s overall budget. However, this funding is largely discretionary, meaning schools can use this for important, yet unfunded instructional programs they would otherwise not afford. During the same period, the Lottery generated almost $8.4 billion in sales, more than 95% of which went back to the community in the form of prize payments, retailer commissions and bonuses, and contributions to education. As jackpots rise, the California Lottery would like to remind players that gambling should be fun. Borrowing money to play, spending above a person’s budget or using money intended for other purposes can ultimately lead to significant problems for players and their families. If a player recognizes that they have a gambling problem or if someone knows of someone who may have a problem, the Lottery recommends calling the California Problem Gambling Help Line at 1-800-GAMBLER.
Media contact: California Lottery Public Affairs and Communications, [email protected]