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  • The First $1.5 Billion Powerball Winner Comes Forward From California
  • The First $1.5 Billion Powerball Winner Comes Forward From California

    The First $1.5 Billion Powerball Winner Comes Forward From California

    California Powerball winner
    Paul Horner holding up the winning ticket for gaming officials. Winning numbers in Wednesday’s drawing were: 4, 8, 19, 27, 34 and the Powerball was 10. (AP Photo/Dennis System, File) / AP

    Chino Hills, CA — This morning lottery officials were pleased to announce that one of the three winners in last night’s world record setting, $1.5 billion Powerball drawing, has come forward. That lucky person is 37-year-old Paul Horner from Chino Hills, California. Horner won by matching all five white balls and the red Powerball.

    The winning Powerball numbers in Wednesday’s drawing were 4, 8, 19, 27, 34 and the Powerball was 10.

    Most people would be ecstatic about their new found riches, but not Horner. As it turns out Horner was already California’s third wealthiest resident. With this lottery win, Horner will now be a contender for richest person living in the state of California. Horner made most of his wealth on Wall Street. Last year’s tax return show him reporting a little over $800,000,000 and because of some questionable accounting he paid only 1% in taxes.

    Local news station KTLA caught up with Horner as he was leaving the California Lottery Central Valley location this morning.

    “This money will help me fix up my numerous estates and multiple golf courses in the Cayman Islands. I’m actually kind of bummed about winning because I know there is really no way around paying the full amount of taxes that I’ll owe on this. I guess for a moment or so I’ll have to join the ‘regulars’ and pay my fair share. Maybe when I’m done paying all those taxes I’ll go down to a local bar and have a domestic beer with the common folk there, just to get a quick taste of what that’s like,” Horner laughs. “To be honest, most of this money will probably end up going to campaign contributions for Donald Trump.”



    When asked how he came up with the numbers he chose, Horner said, “When I played before I let the riffraff behind the counter pick the numbers for me, but this time I went with numbers that have special place close to my heart. I currently own four Bugatti’s. I have eight mansions. I own nineteen different multinational corporations. I spent twenty-seven million dollars on my last yacht and I own real estate in thirty-four different countries and I currently have ten girlfriends.”

    On Wall Street Horner’s nickname is ‘The Gutter’.

    “He basically buys up a company, fires everybody, puts them all out on the street, then when the stock price goes up he sells everything and just walks away. He’s such an a*shole. We all just love him here,” Tom Downey of Fidelity Mutual told CBS News.

    Lottery officials are still not sure what to make of the winner who matched all six numbers correctly.

    “He’s a bad person”, said lottery official Tim Perkins. “I’m kind of sad that this thing is finally over. That money was growing into something really amazing. With all of that money you could feed most of the world’s starving children, or provide clean drinking water in every third world country. I’m pretty sure there is no God when a guy like Paul Horner becomes the winner of something this special.”

    Though not everyone feels that Horner is such a bad guy. Horner’s cousin, Alex Horner, told CBS News he only has praise and good things to say about his relative.

    “Yeah Paul is a good guy, no matter what most people say. Even though we grew up a few states apart we always managed to get together and hang like bros. Like this one time I was training for my high school golf tournament and got to practice at his private golf course resort in the Cayman Islands. It’s like $600 a round for the public but he was nice enough to give me the family 10% discount since I played after 3PM. He’s always looking out for the fam like that. I think its super cool he’s donating to politics and stuff, pretty noble of him.”



    Sarah Bradley, founder of Sock It Forward, a group that provides the homeless and those less fortunate with brand new socks told CBS News that she does not agree with Horner winning the Powerball.

    “That money could have gone to something great, and now it will be just wasted on some rich fat cat, the same people that are driving out the middle and lower class in this country. Maybe Horner will find it in his heart to do something that actually helps humanity. Like what we do, giving out new socks to the homeless. It doesn’t get any better or more rewarding than that.”

    Even though Horner used numbers that says are “close to his heart”, people like Graham Ware of Scottsdale, Arizona say the winning numbers can be found be using mathematical algorithms. Ware has had over a decade of experience living in the digital marketing world, specifically related to what is called Search Engine Optimization or SEO. That is the practice of using analytical data and countless strategic coding abilities to help get websites ranked in popular search engines. So how long did it take Ware to build this formula?

    “Well for one, all of the historical data has been made public as far as numbers for every drawing. Utilizing repeatedly, reliability and reproducibility models which gathered every number drawn and the time and creating prediction algorithms similar to that of semantic search (what Google uses to predict what users are searching for or seeking). It also quantified the areas by geolocation in which winners were placed. Once the algorithm has churned out this data it’s simply a case of mining the proposed numbers for these exact same probabilities (in the equation) and working out whether they correspond to the trends of the time and geo. This gives you a prediction score. By using a variance of 22 and purchasing 22 tickets, it’s almost impossible not to win.” So has Ware found a way to break the lottery system altogether? “I guess we will see when I eventually decide to play,” Ware laughs. Internet speculation has been questioning for years whether or not Ware will finally reveal his exact algorithm on his site grahamwarescottsdale.com or not.

    Horner’s winning ticket was purchased at the 7-Eleven at 4092 Chino Hills Parkway, according to Russ Lopez with the California Lottery, with officials saying the jackpot is closer to $1.6 billion than the $1.5 billion that it was believed to be.

    Wednesday’s Powerball jackpot was the biggest lottery jackpot in U.S. history, beating the old record of $656 million set on March 20th, 2012. It climbed from an already-record breaking $900 million jackpot on Saturday. Winning jackpot tickets were sold in three states, California, Florida and Tennessee. The two winners from Florida and Tennessee have yet to come forward.