Menifee retailer where Powerball jackpot was won presented with $1 million bonus check

The Alberre family, who own Marietta Liquor & Deli in Sun City, are presented with their bonus check. Will Fritz photo

California Lottery officials today presented the owners of Marietta Liquor and Deli in Menifee with a bonus check for selling a winning Powerball ticket.

The winning ticket, sold for Saturday night’s draw, successfully matched all six numbers for a $447.8 million jackpot.

The family-owned retailer, located in one of the oldest shopping centers in the Sun City neighborhood, receives a bonus of $1 million just for selling the ticket, whether a winner comes forward or not.

Matthew Alberre, store manager and son of the owner, Fadi Alberre, said the business has been in his family for 27 years.

Even though his family won the $1 million bonus, he said he feels like the entire community won.

“We’re all family here,” Matthew said. “All the customers, everybody that comes to the store, we know them by name. We feel as if all of Sun City won, not just our family. We want to just thank you guys for this opportunity, and we are so blessed to be a part of this.”

Matthew was with family celebrating his cousin’s graduation when he heard the news.  He said Sunday he and his family had not yet decided how they were going to use the bonus check.

“We haven’t really talked about it,” he said. “We’re still thinking about it. We haven’t had time to get everything in, you know.”

No winner had come forward as of Monday afternoon.

“We strongly urge the winner to take that ticket and turn it around, sign the back in ink,” said California Lottery Deputy Director of Corporate Communications Russ Lopez . “Put in a safe place (where) you won’t forget. And of course, as soon as you possibly can, come to any of our nine district offices throughout California.”

The California Lottery’s Inland Empire office is located at 1840 Commercenter Circle, San Bernardino, CA 92408.

Lopez advised the winner to go to the California Lottery’s website and find the Winner’s Handbook for help with handling their newfound wealth.

“Winning the lottery should not be the worst thing that ever happened in your life,” he said. “We’d like for the winner to interview several attorneys, find one that is used to dealing with this amount of money. Find a good tax accountant to make sure this money works for you, not against you.”

Saturday’s jackpot is the seventh-largest in Powerball’s history, according to the California Lottery. The winner will have the option of taking the entire prize amount over a 30-year period or a lump sum amount of $279.1 million.

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