At last! The holders of the third and final winning ticket from January’s record-smashing $1.6 billion Powerball draw have finally came forward. After playing the US Powerball back in January, on Friday 15 July 2016, Marvin and Mae Acosta went to a California state lottery office in the eleventh hour to claim their share of the record $1.6 billion jackpot. The mysterious couple came in, flanked by security guards.
Southern California Went Crazy After the $1.6 Billion Powerball Draw
Immediately after the momentous draw six months ago, word that someone from the Chino Hills area in Southern California had bought a winning Powerball ticket brought hysterical crowds to the parking lot of Balbir Atwal’s 7-Eleven where they competed for the attention of the TV cameras.
Soon afterwards, professional skateboarder Erik Bragg came forward on social media – he trolled the world into believing he was the winner of the $1.6 billion Powerball prize. Bragg’s claim was false, but for a day or so the world followed his every step.
Who Are the California Winners of the $1.6 Billion Powerball? And Where Have They Gone?
It isn’t known why Marvin and Mae Acosta waited as long as they did. We don’t know much about them anyway. The young couple did release a statement:
“We are thankful and blessed for the rare gift that has been placed in our care.”
“We have engaged a team of advisors to educate and guide us through this process.”
Property records show that Marvin and Mae purchased a 5-bedroom home for $475,000 in the autumn of 2015. The location is reasonably close to the 7-Eleven where the winning ticket was purchased (about 10 miles). A neighbour said the couple had two children and that the family moved out on Thursday 14 July 2016, a day before claiming the prize. The Acostas have wiped out their social media profiles and no one seems to know where they have gone.
The Other Two $1.6 Billion Powerball Winners
$327M Powerball Winners from Tennessee – John and Lisa Robinson
On 15 January, Tennessee couple John and Lisa Robinson and their daughter Tiffany appeared on the Today show with what appeared to be a winning ticket. Only after appearing on the show, did they go and claim their win in Tennessee. They were photographed holding an oversized $528.8 million cheque, but they took home substantially less than that. In the end they received $327 million, because they opted for a lump sum rather than 30 annual installments (which would have netted them an estimated $533 million).
Come February, the Robinsons were being sued by a Jonathan Lee Riches, a former convict who is famous for filing lawsuits against Somali pirates, former president George Bush and a host of other celebrities and organisations. In his handwritten claim relating to the case vs. the Robinsons, Riches writes that he’s out of prison and homeless and that he should get half of their winnings because he’s “the actual winner.” He also asked the judge to issue the Robinsons with an injunction and restraining order.
$327M Powerball Winners from Florida – David Kaltschmidt & Maureen Smith
The Florida winners, David Kaltschmidt and Maureen Smith of Melbourne Beach, also took the $327M lump sum. Kaltschmidt said he would retire from his job as a manufacturing engineer but wouldn’t otherwise change his day-to-day life. Maureen just wanted a good massage.
It was Maureen who had bought the winning ticket at the Publix grocery store in Melbourne Beach, Florida. Maureen’s had opted to play the US Powerball with hand-picked numbers. “They are numbers that I played for years that I very rarely play.”