Marvin and Mae Acosta: California’s $327.8M-Winning Powerball Couple
Marvin and Mae Acosta: The Powerball Jackpot Mystery
In January 2016, the lottery world buzzed with anticipation. The US Powerball had rolled over to an unprecedented $1.58 billion jackpot — the largest prize in the game’s history. Nineteen draws had already passed without any jackpot winners. On January 13, the massive prize would be up for grabs again.
Would anybody win?
Three tickets matched the numbers drawn that night: 4, 8, 19, 27, 34 for the main numbers, and 10 for the Powerball. The winning tickets had been bought in California, Florida, and Tennessee. More than 26 million tickets won other minor prizes for the January 13 draw, but the only question on everybody’s lips was: Who would be splitting the historic Powerball jackpot?
Just days after the draw, the winners from Tennessee came forward to claim their prize. John and Lisa Robinson of Munford took their share of the jackpot in a lump-sum payment. A little over a month later, Maureen Smith and David Kaltschmidt from Melbourne Beach presented themselves as the owners of Florida’s winning ticket.
California’s jackpot winners were the only ones left. But month after month passed, and it didn’t seem as though anybody would claim the rest of the $1.58 billion Powerball prize.
Who are Marvin and Mae Acosta?
The Lucky Powerball Couple from Chino Hills, California
News quickly spread about the mysterious California ticket-holders: The winning ticket had been bought at a 7-Eleven in Chino Hills, a quiet suburb to the east of Los Angeles.
Lottery players flocked to the place to buy tickets for the next draws, hoping that the store’s luck would rub off on them. Meanwhile, Balbir Atwal, the convenience store’s owner, himself received $1 million as a bonus for selling the lucky ticket.
It wasn’t until July 2016, that Atwal and the rest of the country would know who owned the winning ticket.
Six months after scoring the largest win in Powerball history, Marvin and Mae Acosta walked into the California Lottery’s Van Nuys office to claim their prize. The couple came with a security detail. But security personnel weren’t all that they’d prepared.
The Acostas had spent all those months building a team of lawyers and financial advisors to help manage their newfound wealth. Luckily, California gives jackpot winners up to a year to claim their prize money. In a statement released shortly after the Acostas’ visit, the California Lottery’s director, Hugo Lopez, even praised Marvin and Mae Acosta for taking the time to plan their financial future.
Marvin and Mae Acosta Net Worth
Since they chose to get their prize as a lump sum, Marvin and Mae Acosta took home $327.8 million before taxes. Thanks to California laws that exempt lottery winners from state tax, the Acostas only had to pay federal taxes for their winnings.
In a statement that they released after claiming their prize money, the Acostas noted that they planned to commit most of their winnings to a trust and to their chosen charities.
The Marvin and Mae Acosta Charities: Are These a Scam?
Those same charities have become the subject of many scams. Marvin and Mae Acosta have disappeared from public life since their landmark win, and scammers have taken advantage of their radio silence.
The scams usually take the form of emails, supposedly from Marvin or Mae Acosta. Recipients are either asked for donations to the Acostas’ charities, or they’re offered a share of Marvin and Mae Acosta’s Powerball winnings. Either way, the emails ask recipients to send personal information to the email sender.
Scammers then use that information to extort money from the recipients. Usually, they do this by asking for donations or requesting for “transaction fees” to facilitate a bogus transfer of money to the recipient’s account.
Here’s a sample scam email:
Its heart warming to receive a response from you, but first, we will love to introduce our selves, I am Marvin Acosta , and my wife’s name is Mae Acosta, we are the Chino Hills Power-ball Jackpot Winners of one-third of the historic, world record-breaking Power-ball jackpot of $1.58 Billion on January 13th 2016, and we finally came out to claim our share of the prize on July 19th 2016, which was an incredible $528.8 million, after which we were given a lump sum cash payment of $327,835,000.
We actually left the States after claiming our money and we are currently here in Luxembourg because we needed privacy and due to some previous stories we heard about some previous winners” we decided to come down here on a long vacation and to help others by donating part of our gift from God, and we also want it to be a private donation, we never had the plans of coming down here from the United States, but we were advised to do so by our attorney because, she knew there is gonna be a lot of responsibilities that is gonna come along with the win.
We just started our donation project ahead of the Xmas celebration and we are donating the sum of $1,800,000.00 U.S. Dollars to our church and 20 lucky Individuals from our $327,835,000 Jackpot, not because the money is too much but because we want the money to go round, and please, we will like you to assist as much as you can, with this money as soon as it gets to you, most especially, the needy around you, although we are just knowing you for the first time but we believe our heavenly father has directed us to you as we seek the advise of financial advisers and we also prayed and searched over the internet for assistance and we saw your email on a list of registered email addresses that was provided to us by Microsoft and AOL management team from which your email was selected, so if you receive this email from us, we believe you were chosen by God to receive our donation of $1,800,000.00 U.S. Dollars and we also hope that, you are a God fearing individual being a Christian or a Muslim, and as a believer, we believe that good things happens to those people who wait and also believe.
Please be rest assured that, you stand no risk as this is our money, for source and verification please click here on the Acosta family or see the link below
We are doing this not to gain fame as a matter of fact, we have decided to put this away from the media and our sole purpose of doing this was a result of a long talk with my wife who said to me ”Honey, there are families out there who still survive on pay check and some nothing” I knew exactly what she was talking about because i have thought of it too.
We would love to introduce our selves more and also show you pictures of our lovely family but firstly we would like to know more about our winner by replying back with the below information’s:
if you have kids:
May the Good Lord bless your heart to be a blessing to your family and your society as soon as our donation gets to you.
Mr & Mrs Marvin Acosta.
A friendly reminder from Lottery Critic: If you ever receive an email claiming to be from Marvin or Mae Acosta, don’t reply or click on any links.
It goes without saying that Marvin and Mae Acosta are not emailing random people in order to send them millions of dollars. Don’t fall prey to scammers trying to use the Acostas’ names.
Lessons in Winning the Lottery
Avoiding lottery scams is one valuable lesson, but Marvin and Mae Acosta provide other examples worth following for any lottery player.
Considering how many lottery winners end up broke, for example, the Acostas’ months of preparation make sense. The massive windfall represents a big change in the couple’s lives. In fact, journalists who had looked into public records for information on Marvin and Mae Acosta found that a family with the same names had moved out of an Eastvale, California home just a day before the Acostas came forward.
Under California state law, lottery winners’ names must be made public. Even so, Marvin and Mae Acosta took care not to reveal anything more than their names when they came to the California Lottery office. The couple even refused photographs and interviews, and they have all but disappeared from public view since claiming their prize.
As with their preparation efforts, the Acostas’ insistence on privacy makes sense considering their circumstances. The Charlotte Observer, looking up public records on the Acostas, determined that Marvin and Mae Acosta hit the Powerball jackpot at 39 and 40 years old, respectively. While they’re far from the youngest lottery winners of all time, that still gives them decades of public scrutiny if they’d chosen to disclose more personal details.
How Should You Handle a Lottery Win?
Marvin and Mae Acosta might just be the best role models here. While hitting a lottery jackpot is always a happy occasion, not every winner’s story ends well. It takes careful preparation and foresight to manage the millions you get from winning lotteries like the US Powerball or MegaMillions. Just look at the biggest lottery winners of all time: though they have different stories, most happy winners insisted on privacy and made smart lifestyle choices like the Acostas did.
Eager to plan out your own post-win strategy? Check out our article on the most important things to do after you hit a lottery jackpot.Marvin and Mae Acosta made lotto history when they won the massive $1.5B Powerball jackpot in 2016. But who exactly are these lucky winners from California?
CHINO HILLS: $528.8 million Powerball winners finally come forward
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A crowd celebrates outside a Chino Hills 7-Eleven after it was announced the store sold one of the winning tickets in the record $1.6 billion Powerball drawing Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016.
7-Eleven assistant manager M. Faroqui celebrates after selling the winning $1.5 billion Powerball Lottery ticket in Chino Hills, Calif. on Wednesday night, Jan. 13, 2016.
For about seven months, Marvin and Mae Acosta kept to themselves in a home in a quiet cul de sac in Eastvale
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly spelled the name of Eastvale resident Rodrigo Jimenez.
Six months after a $1.6 billion Powerball lottery jackpot set records, the holder of the winning ticket bought at a Chino Hills 7-Eleven has finally come forward.
Marvin and Mae Acosta were announced as the winners in a tweet from the California Lottery on Tuesday morning. Their hometown was not revealed, but a property search and neighbors confirmed they lived in Eastvale — until last week.
The couple wants “to remain as private as possible,” the tweet says.
The drawing Jan. 13 set off a nationwide frenzy, with three tickets poised to share the jackpot, or $528.8 million apiece. When word got out that California’s winning ticket was sold at the 7-Eleven at 4092 Chino Hills Parkway, owned by Balbir Atwal, the store quickly filled with people celebrating the win – but the actual winner was not among them.
The winners from Tennessee came forward almost immediately, while the Florida winners took about a month to reveal themselves.
Meanwhile, Chino Hills waited and wondered.
“We finally know who our mystery winners are,” California Lottery Director Hugo Lopez said in a statement. “It may have taken six months for them to come to one of our offices, but these winners did just what we tell all our winners to do – they read our Winner’s Handbook and then assembled a team of legal and financial advisers to help them make the most of this windfall.”
Lopez added that he “couldn’t be happier for them and are thrilled they took the time to assemble the right team before coming in to claim.”
According to the California Lottery, the Acostas declined a 30-year annuity worth $528.8 million before federal taxes, opting instead for a one-time payment of $327.8 million, as the Tennessee and Florida couples did.
The couple is refusing all interviews and requests for photographs, according to lottery officials. They did release this statement:
“We are thankful and blessed for the rare gift that has been placed in our care. We have engaged a team of advisers to educate and guide us through this process so that we can be good stewards of these new resources.
“While many decisions are still to be made, we have committed nearly all of this new resource to a trust and to charities that are important to us,” their statement continues. “While we are very grateful for the wonderful wishes and encouragement we’ve received, it is not our intention to become public figures, and we ask for and appreciate privacy going forward. Thank you.”
For about seven months, Marvin and Mae Acosta kept to themselves in a home in a quiet cul-de-sac in Eastvale with their neighbors unaware that the couple held a multimillion-dollar winning Powerball ticket.
The couple, who appeared to be in their 40s, moved in around last December but did not interact with other neighbors, said Rodrigo Jimenez, 67, who lives in a house nearby.
“They don’t say hi, they don’t say nothing,” Jimenez said.
Jimenez said he saw two large moving trucks pack up the house and leave Friday.
A next-door neighbor, who would only give her name as Emily, said Marvin Acosta would sometimes wave to her, but she didn’t know much about the family.
They had two children, a girl who appeared to be 15, and a boy of 4 or 5, she said. The girl would sometimes play basketball out front, Emily said.
She, like other neighbors, was surprised to learn that the Acostas won the lottery.
“I’m very happy for them,” said Maria Franco, 67, who said she never spoke to them once.
The cul-de-sac is part of the Brooke Terrace neighborhood not far from Roosevelt High School in Eastvale. No cars were in the driveway or in front of the Acosta home, a tan and brown-trim colored stucco home with a brown tile roof. The grass and bushes out front were neatly manicured.
“For having that much money I’m surprised they lived here,” said another neighbor, Josh Schreter, 37.
the Chino Hills winner remained shrouded in mystery for months . Initially, several hoaxters claimed ownership of the golden ticket. Meanwhile, Atwal collected his $1 million for owning the business that sold the ticket, and the clerk who handled the transaction, M. Faroqui, enjoyed his 15 minutes of fame, landing a guest spot on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”
Approached by reporters Tuesday morning with the news, Atwal asked: “Are you sure?”
After hearing that the news came from state lottery officials, he added that he’s “so happy for them. And I’m glad that they play here.”
Powerball is played in 44 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Unlike the California-only SuperLotto Plus jackpot winners – who must come forward with their ticket within 180 days of the draw date – Powerball winners have a year to stake their claim.
Since news spread about the history-making ticket, business is booming, Atwal added. He’s seen a 30 percent uptick in sales overall, with an 80 percent increase in lottery ticket sales.
Asked if people feel lucky in Chino Hills, he said, “Yes, they are.”
Staff writer Neil Nisperos contributed to this report.CHINO HILLS: $528.8 million Powerball winners finally come forward Share this: Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) ]]>