Winner of $2B Powerball jackpot buying fancy homes around Los Angeles

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The winner of the record-breaking $2 billion Powerball jackpot has wasted little time enjoying his newfound riches—and he’s been focused on California real estate.

Edwin Castro bought the winning ticket last November at a Mobil gas station in Altadena, about 30 minutes outside Los Angeles. He came forward to claim his prize in February, choosing to receive nearly $1 billion in cash, which after taxes came out to about $628 million. The other option was to collect the full prize through an annuity over 29 years, which many financial advisors consider the better strategy.

In March, Castro bought a $25.5 million hillside home in Hollywood Hills, not far from celebrities like Jimmy Kimmel and Ariana Grande. One of the neighborhood’s priciest sales ever, the five-bedroom, six-bathroom house sports a gym, game room, wine cellar, and movie theater.

Castro also spent $4 million on a Japanese-inspired house in Altadena, his home town, close to the gas station where his fortunes changed. It has five bedrooms, five bathrooms, and a saltwater pool, according to the listing.

And he made a much splashier purchase earlier this month, forking over $47 million for a seven-bedroom, 11-bathroom home with panoramic views of Los Angeles and a large infinity pool, according to USA Today, which noted he now owns a vintage Porsche 911.

California law requires that the names of lottery winners be made public. Many jackpot recipients would rather keep their good fortune private, with safety being one concern. Castro declined to appear at a news conference held by lottery officials, but he did release a statement indicating he was “shocked and ecstatic” to have won. 

California lottery director Alva Johnson said in February that Castro would like to “largely remain private.”

The owner of the gas station that sold the winning ticket said that Castro, once a regular customer, paid him a visit. 

“He just came to tell me, ‘Thank you. This changed my life,’” Joseph Chahayed told the Los Angeles Times in March. “I encouraged him to be generous.” (Chahayed, who immigrated from Syria in 1980, hit a jackpot as well, with his gas station awarded $1 million for selling the winning ticket.)

While Castro quickly set about enjoying his new wealth, financial advisers suggest taking some time before making large purchases in order to let your emotions settle down.

“Don’t go out and buy a Ferrari, don’t buy a mansion,” Emily Irwin, managing director of advice and planning at Wells Fargo’s Wealth & Investment Management, told Fortune in July. “Maybe you have student loans you want to pay off, that makes sense. But try to avoid that mega purchase.”

And before claiming the prize, she advises, assemble a team of professionals who can help manage the money effectively, such as a lawyer, a financial advisor, and perhaps a philanthropic advisor.



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