Former NFL Player has Connection to Record Powerball Jackpot
It took longer than expected but the Powerball multi-state lottery game did get a big winner of its record $2.04 billion dollar jackpot. If you didn't hear, there were several Louisiana-sold Powerball tickets that won some significant coin as well. There were a $1,000,000 winner and two $50,000 winners sold in the state. Plus there were almost 200 tickets sold in Louisiana for Monday's drawing that are worth at least $100.
But this story is about the "big ticket", a $2.04 billion dollar winner. Actually, it's less about that winner, since we don't know who that is yet. This is about the establishment that sold the winning ticket and its relationship with a former NFL player.
First things first, if you weren't aware lottery retailers also win when you win. If they sell a jackpot-winning ticket, they usually get a cut of the winnings or a very nice stipend. It's one of the ways lotteries across the nation incentivize retailers to sell their tickets and advertise their games.
For example, in Louisiana retailers are paid .5% on winnings from $1 to $25. The sliding scale escalates to 2.0% on prize winners sold valued from $201 to $600. Lottery retailers also earn a commission on every ticket sold, no matter whether it's a winner or not, and for big prizes like a Powerball jackpot the state's lottery retailers earn either $25,000 or 1% of Louisiana's contribution to the jackpot prize pool.
Since the $2.04 billion dollar winner was sold in California, the lottery there paid the retailer, Joe's Service Center of Altadena California a $1,000,000 bonus. Joe's Service Center is owned and operated by Joe Chahayed. His daughter is married to former Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Domata Peko Sr.
Peko Sr played for the Bengals for 11 seasons. He was a fourth-round selection in the 2006 draft. He played his college ball at Michigan State and could not have been happier for the financial windfall his father-in-law just received.
He posted a message on his Instagram Page congratulating his father-in-law. The message read, according to ESPN.com, "My Father-in-law sold the winning Powerball ticket 2 billion$, Congratulations Baba".
By the way, Peko Sr isn't hurting for cash either. He just put his $1.8 million dollar home up for sale on the outskirts of Cincinnati earlier this year. He currently lives in Los Angles where he owns and operates a restaurant and club on Sunset Strip.
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