Vinh Nguyen told lottery officials he wants to maintain a normal life and declined to take part in a news conference.
The California Lottery released no other information about him other than his name and occupation, but keeping a low profile can hard when such a large prize is involved. Reporters soon tracked him down and by Friday morning hoards of story-seekers and photographers had made their way to Nail Resort in Cary Avenue, San Mateo, only to find it closed.
Many workers in neighboring stores had no idea they had a Powerball winner in their midst and were amazed to see such a commotion.
Press-On Cleaners proprietor Julianna Mo told reporters Nguyen sometimes does her nails, said he has a great sense of humor, and called him a very deserving winner.
Meanwhile, Nguyen insists he does not wish to be interviewed, but said in a statement issued by the California Lottery that he's been playing the lottery for five years, uses the money he receives from tips to purchase his tickets, and had spent $30 on tickets for the Wednesday night drawing.
"I picked my own numbers for the ticket," he said. "They were all random. Whatever numbers come into my head I pick."
The Lottery said Nguyen opted to take his prize in annuity payments rather than as a one-off lump-sum.
The US Powerball is a multi-state draw that offers a minimum jackpot of $40 million. Numbers are drawn on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 22:59 (EST). The next drawing is on Wednesday, October 1, 2014. The estimated jackpot is $40 million.