Powerball winner Edwin Castro ‘disappeared’ after record-breaking $2 Billion jackpot

Edwin Castro, a 31-year-old resident of Los Angeles, became the winner of the largest-ever US Powerball jackpot, totaling $2.04 billion. Despite drawing the winning numbers on November 8, 2022, his identity remained concealed until California Lottery officials disclosed it in February as per state regulations. After the win, Castro maintained a low profile, disappearing from social media to keep his newfound wealth of $997.6 million, chosen as a lump sum payment, largely secret.

Capitalizing on his anonymity, Castro treated close friends to a luxurious trip to Fiji before the public unveiling. Photos posted on social media showcased the group enjoying the exclusive Cloud 9 bar, a two-level floating oasis accessible only by boat. Described as “Fiji’s floating paradise,” Cloud 9 offers drinks, snorkeling, and an on-board pizzeria, attracting global visitors seeking a unique experience.

Cloud 9 bar is a tropical oasis off the coast of Fiji. (stock photo) 

Upon his return, Castro took steps to secure his newfound fortune. He hired bodyguards for himself and his family, who were still residing in their modest three-bedroom family home near La Crescenta, where he grew up. Collaborating with his brother Jesse, a banker, Castro initiated the management of his substantial windfall, transitioning from leisure to a more serious approach.

However, the revelation of Castro’s identity triggered a barrage of spam messages from scammers on social media, falsely claiming to be him and offering money to recipients. Castro also faced legal challenges, including a lawsuit filed by Jose Rivera, who asserted ownership of the winning ticket. Rivera alleged that his former landlord, Urachi “Reggie” Romero, stole the ticket, which eventually ended up in Castro’s possession. Despite Rivera facing charges of filing a false police report related to the ticket, the California lottery commission expressed confidence in Castro’s legitimacy as the jackpot winner.

Post-publicity, Castro has been seen indulging in extravagant purchases, including vintage sports cars and multimillion-dollar real estate acquisitions. Notable purchases include a $25 million mansion in the Hollywood Hills, a $47 million Bel Air estate, and a $4 million home in Altadena for his parents featuring Japanese-inspired design. A source close to Castro emphasized his grounded approach, suggesting that he is strategic in his spending, anticipating profits from his investments. The winner’s journey reflects the challenges and lifestyle changes that accompany sudden and immense wealth.

One of Castro’s major purchase is this mansion that boasts 5 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms in the star-studded Hollywood Hills. Some of his nearest neighbors include Ariana Grande, Dakota Johnson and Jimmy Kimmel. 
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