The winning ticket for the record $2.04 billion Powerball jackpot was sold by Joe Chahayed, father-in-law of former Bengals defensive tackle Domata Peko.
Chahayed owns Joe's Service Center in Altadena, a community in the foothills northeast of Los Angeles. He will receive a Powerball bonus of $1 million for selling the winning ticket.
“Congratulations Baba Chahayed!!! Alexa play A Mili by [Lil Wayne]” Peko wrote on Twitter.
— domatapeko (@DomataPeko) November 9, 2022
The defensive lineman was picked by the Cincinnati Bengals in the fourth round of the 2006 NFL draft and spent 11 seasons with the team. He went on to play for the Denver Broncos, Baltimore Ravens and most recently the Arizona Cardinals. He hasn't formally retired despite not playing the last two seasons.
He made his own million-dollar headline in September, when he listed his longtime home in the Cincinnati area for sale. The Crestview Hills, Kentucky home, less than 20 minutes south of downtown Cincinnati, was listed for $1.8 million.
Peko shared the news about his father-in-law on his Instagram story writing, “You deserve it! My wife Anna’s dad, let’s go.”
Anna isn’t Chahayed’s only child. He is reported to have emigrated to Los Angeles from Syria in the 1980s with his wife, two kids and around $14,000 to his name. He now has five children and ten grandchildren with another one on the way.
Chahayed, 75, said he would spend the $1 million on his family, donate some to the community, and continue working because he loves his job.
“I raised my kids, graduated from the college and bought a house and I bought a business all because I work hard and become an honest man," Chahayed said.
The prize money sum is the largest lottery jackpot ever won by far, beating the previous record of $1.586 billion won by three Powerball ticket holders in 2016. While Chahayed doesn’t know who the winner is, he says he hopes it’s someone from the community.
Joe Chahayed who sold the winning ticket in the $2.04 billion Powerball drawing at his Altadena Mobil station, says he had a feeling there was going to be a winner among his customers. Video by @deanmusgrove for @PasStarNews @SoCalNewsGroup https://t.co/Mggu1oXG1X pic.twitter.com/DoFiAxzCyN
— Steven Rosenberg (@passthejoe) November 8, 2022
The owner of the winning ticket has one year to come forward to claim the once-in-a-lifetime prize.