Man Gets $1 Million For Selling the Winning Powerball Ticket


They call him “Papa Joe.”

A Syrian immigrant who moved to the U.S. in 1980 in search of the American Dream, Joseph Chahayed appears to be living it.

Papa Joe is the man who sold the $2 billion Powerball lottery ticket at his gas station, Joe’s Service Station in Altadena, California, earlier this week.

Related: The Winning $2 Billion Powerball Ticket Was Sold in California

As part of California Powerball rules, the retailer who sells the winning ticket receives O.5% of the jackpot, which is capped at $1 million, making Joe Chahayed a millionaire overnight.

Wearing a ‘Millionaire made here’ T-shirt, Chahayed said at a California Lottery press conference that he plans on sharing the money with his family.

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“We are excited,” he said. “I have 11 grandchildren, and I’ll share with them.”

Who is Papa Joe?

Chahayed’s son describes his 75-year-old father as tireless and hardworking.

“Seventy-five years old, and he refuses to take a day off,” he said. He’s up at like 5 a.m. every day. No one deserves it as much as he does.”

Chahayed, the father-in-law of former NFL player Domata Peko, has owned his Mobil gas station for 20 years.

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He described the station, which is just north of Pasadena, as being in a “very poor neighborhood,” telling the Pasadena Star News, “From the bottom of my heart, I hoped somebody would win…they deserve it.”

The Los Angeles Times reports that Chahayed is known around the community for having a generous spirit.

Kenny Devine, a customer, said Chahayed gave him permission to run a pop-up shop for his jeans company out of the gas station parking lot.

Chahayed has also loaned Devine’s sister money numerous times.

“Joe is the most, bar none, friendly person that I know,” said Devine.





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