California Powerball winner B. Raymond Buxton got the surprise of his life in February when he learned that he had the only winning ticket for a $425 million jackpot. Now, he says, he's going to put all that cash towards a good cause.
Buxton plans to start several charity organizations with his winnings that focus on child hunger, education, and pediatric health. For the past several weeks, he's been working with advisers and his bank to sort out all the details that go along with a sudden windfall, but he still has as much trouble believing it really happened to him now as he did when he first found out.
"'Unbelievable!' is all I could muster," Buxton said in a statement. "Once the initial shock passed, I couldn't sleep for days."
With his newfound wealth, Buxton doesn't want to reveal too much about himself and is erring on the side of caution when it comes to the media.
"He really wants to live a private life as best he can," publicist Sam Singer said. "He was a solidly middle-class American, and today he is a solidly wealthy one."
After beating the odds of about 1 in 175 million to win the jackpot, Buxton took the lump sum of $242 million before taxes. The winning ticket came from a Chevron station near the San Francisco Bay area, which he stopped at while getting lunch at a nearby Subway.
"It's amazing how a little slip of paper can change your life," he said.
A Powerball winner in Missouri was sought in March after all six numbers were matched for a $96.5 million jackpot. They have 180 days to claim their prize.
“When the jackpot winner comes to Jefferson City, we will explain the claim process and other decisions they will need to make,” said May Scheve Reardon, Executive Director of the Missouri Lottery. “We want the winner to take his or her time in getting the proper legal and financial advice before they come to our Jefferson City office. It is also wise to tell as few people as possible at first, so you have uninterrupted time to make important decisions and arrangements.”