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Sonoma County Powerball winners each to collect $638,146

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Sonoma County’s two second- tier Powerball winners had at least two things in common with the three ticket holders that will share the record $1.6 billion jackpot: they picked the same five numbers for their tickets, and they all were lying low Thursday.

The county’s top two Powerball winners each will collect $638,146 after beating odds of better than one in 11 million.

The two, who bought their tickets in Santa Rosa and Cloverdale, were among a dozen winners statewide with the same five winning numbers, 4, 8, 19, 27 and 34. What separated the 12 from the jackpot winners was the sixth figure, the Powerball number 10. They had another number; thus, they won the lesser amount.

Even so, “it’s a pretty good payout,” said California Lottery spokesman Greg Parashak.

As of Thursday, state lottery officials had confirmed the identity of just one of the second-tier winners, Arturo Velasquez, who bought his winning ticket at a liquor store on Van Nuys Boulevard in Pacoima in Los Angeles County. Despite scoring a six-figure award, Velasquez expressed disappointment to lottery officials that his Powerball number had been 15 and not 10.

“I’m a little sad; I wanted to win it all,” he said in a news release.

Wednesday’s local winners purchased their tickets at the Larkfield 76 gas station at 4605 Old Redwood Highway in Santa Rosa and at the Quik Stop at 601 N. Cloverdale Blvd. in Cloverdale.

Retailers who sell tickets matching all six numbers typically receive a payout, but a lottery official said Thursday that the Sonoma County retailers were not eligible for a payout, as the winning tickets pay less than $1 million.

Meanwhile, the three big winners from California, Florida and Tennessee all remained unidentified Thursday. The three, who have a year to claim their prize, each will receive nearly $529 million. The winning California jackpot ticket was sold in Chino Hills, a suburb of Los Angeles.

The odds of getting all six numbers is one in 292 million.

The odds of winning any prize in Powerball are about one in 25. The minimum award Thursday was $4 for having the correct Powerball number. A ticket costs $2.

Lottery records show only three winners from Sonoma, Lake or Mendocino counties exceeding $380,000 in the past two years. And all three winning tickets were announced within the last week.

Along with Wednesday’s winners, a winning ticket was purchased in Lake County for Saturday’s Powerball drawing. That winner, who also has yet to come forward, was one of six statewide winners who correctly picked five of six numbers. Each of the six winners will receive a prize of $779,264.

Some states set a fixed amount for those who pick five of the six Powerball numbers. But in California the prize depends on ticket sales and the number of winners.

The second-tier winners and those who receive lesser prizes have 180 days to claim the awards, Parashak said.

The state will issue news releases when each of Wednesday’s 12 second-tier winners steps forward, Parashak said. Under state law, the winners’ names must be made public.

Saturday’s winning ticket from Lake County was purchased at the Nice Market in Nice.

At the Quik Stop, manager Lucy Chen on Thursday acknowledged surprise at the news of a customer eligible to win such a prize. She noted that the winner had not stopped by to celebrate.

Asked for her reaction, Chen got to the heart of the matter: “Well, I didn’t win.”

Staff Writer Martin Espinoza contributed to this report. You can reach Staff Writer Robert Digitale at 521-5285 or robert.digitale@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @rdigit

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