Chino Hills couple claims share of record Powerball jackpot

Posted at 1:37 PM, Jul 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-19 17:23:03-04

A California couple has claimed a $528.8 million share of a record Powerball jackpot from January and pledged to give much of it to charity.

Flanked by security, Marvin and Mae Acosta went to a state lottery office in Van Nuys on Friday to claim their winnings from the record $1.6 billion Powerball drawing, lottery officials disclosed Tuesday.

In a statement, the Acostas said they are dedicating nearly all of the prize money to a trust and charities.

"We are thankful and blessed for the rare gift that has been placed in our care," the statement said.

Traverso described the Acostas as a younger couple with two children. No additional details were released because they requested privacy.

The couple will take their winnings in a cash option totaling $327.8 million before federal taxes, lottery officials said.

The Acostas bought their ticket six months ago at a 7-Eleven in Chino Hills, California, about 35 miles east of Los Angeles. It was one of three winning tickets sold for the Jan. 13 drawing. Winners in Florida and Tennessee came forward within days to claim their prize money.

Word that one of the winning tickets was sold in California brought excited crowds to the 7-Eleven in Chino Hills, a normally quiet community of 77,000 people nestled among rolling hills.

Gawkers crowded the store and parking lot, mugging for TV cameras. Some chanted "Chino Hills! Chino Hills!" in celebration of the city's sudden celebrity.

The Tennessee winners were a small-town couple, John and Lisa Robinson of Munford, who also took the lump sum payment. They said they didn't intend to stop working — John as a warehouse supervisor and Lisa at a dermatologist's office — and would stay in their one-story house. They planned to pay off their mortgage and their daughter's student loans.

The Florida winners, David Kaltschmidt and Maureen Smith of Melbourne Beach, took the lump sum as well. Kaltschmidt said he would retire from his job as a manufacturing engineer but wouldn't otherwise change his day-to-day life.

Smith, who identified herself as a homemaker, said she was concerned that winning might make her less friendly because of all the worrying.