They call him ‘Daddy Joe’.
Joseph Chahayed, a Syrian immigrant who moved to the US in 1980 in search of the American Dream, seems to be living it.
Papa Joe is the man who sold the $2 billion Powerball lottery ticket at his gas station, Joe’s Service Station in Altadena, California, earlier this week.
Related: The Winning $2 Billion Powerball Ticket Sold In California
As part of the California Powerball rules, the retailer who sells the winning ticket will receive 0.5% of the jackpot, which is capped at $1 million, making Joe Chahayed an overnight millionaire.
Chahayed wore a “Millionaire made here” T-shirt and said at a California Lottery press conference that he plans to share the money with his family.
“We are excited,” he said. “I have 11 grandchildren and I will share with them.”
Joe Chahayed who sold the winning ticket in the $2.04 billion Powerball draw on his Altadena Mobil station, says he felt there would be a winner among his customers. Video by @deanmusgrove in front of @PasStarNews @SoCalNewsGroup https://t.co/Mggu1oXG1X pic.twitter.com/DoFiAxzCyN
— Steven Rosenberg (@passthejoe) Nov 8, 2022
Who is Papa Joe?
Chahayed’s son describes his 75-year-old father as tireless and hardworking.
“Seventy-five years old, and he refuses to take a day off,” he said. “He gets up at 5 a.m. every day. No one deserves it as much as he does.”
Chahayed, the father-in-law of former NFL player Domata Peko, has owned his Mobil gas station for 20 years.
He described the station, which is just north of Pasadena, as a “very poor neighborhood” Pasadena Star News, “From the bottom of my heart I hoped someone would win… they deserve it.”
The Los Angeles Times reports that Chahayed is known throughout the community for his generous spirit.
Kenny Devine, a customer, said Chahayed had given him permission to run a pop-up shop for his jeans business out of the gas station parking lot.
Chahayed has also lent money to Devine’s sister numerous times.
“Joe is the most, except for, friendly person I know,” Devine said.