Paul Matson bought a Powerball ticket at a Carmichael convenience store in late September, put it in a drawer and didn’t check it until Thursday to see if it was a winner.
When he scanned its bar code on one of the California Lottery’s check-a-ticket scanning machines at a retail location, it showed he had won $671,000.
“I thought, ‘Oh, the machine is malfunctioning,’ ” Matson said, according to a news release issued Friday by lottery officials. A store clerk double-checked the ticket and confirmed it was a winner.
“You have to be kidding me,” Matson told the clerk.
The announcement ended several months of speculation about who might have bought the winning ticket from the AM/PM store on Manzanita Avenue in Carmichael. The drawing was Sept. 23.
Matson – who declined to provide his age, place of residence or other details to lottery officials and also declined media interviews – said he only plays the lottery occasionally and just makes sure to check the tickets before they expire, lottery officials said.
The ticket he bought in Carmichael matched five numbers from the Sept. 23 drawing, but not the Powerball number. The odds of matching those numbers is 1 in 11,688,054.
Matson told the lottery he might buy a new house with his winnings.
Powerball is a multistate game played in California and 43 other states, with drawings on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 7:59 p.m. Tickets are $2 each.