Neighbors of $1.76 billion Powerball jackpot winner fear he will be kidnapped: 'He has a big bullseye on his back'

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By Kim Novak

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Neighbors of a man who won the massive $1.76 billion Powerball jackpot have revealed they are keeping a close eye on him for fear he may be kidnapped.

Winning the lottery is most people's dream, however, very few people actually ever get the rush of seeing all their numbers come up - let alone when the jackpot is over a billion dollars.

Well, that's exactly what happened to Theodorus 'Theo' Struyk, 65, who represents the group of people who claimed the $1.76 billion prize on the Powerball jackpot most recently.

And while many people probably wouldn't want to go public with the fact that they've come into so much money, in California, the law mandates that lottery winners are named along with their location.

powerball
He won the massive fortune on the Powerball. Credit: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

So it's no wonder that people in the local area are worried for Theo's safety, as neighbors revealed their fears that a "shady" person may try and kidnap him to extort his wealth.

Neighbor Kevin Woten told the US Sun: "We’re keeping an eye out but you worry about shady people up to no good.

"I’m worried someone might come by and put a sack over his head, throw him in a van, and take him off, that sort of thing.

"I’m hoping he’ll look into security (when he returns). You have to with that amount of money."

The 65-year-old has reportedly placed "no trespassing" signs outside his home in Frazier Park, but his current whereabouts are unknown as he is believed to have gone to visit family in San Diego.

Dan Perry, owner of ANC Fireworks, added to the outlet: "If he needs any security he’ll be fine, I have Jake here [his dog] and we’re cheap.

"If I lived here I would not want to be named, now he has a big bullseye on his back."

The amount of personal information released about a lottery winner varies depending on the state they are in, with each having different laws.

Dan added that he hoped that Theo would invest some of the colossal win back into the town, adding: "This town needs every bit of help it can get.

"It’s one of those rural towns in California that’s kind of neglected by Sacramento, the economy has been down for years. It would be great if he could open a business or something like that, but If I lived here I’d get the hell out, get a nice little place in Santa Barbara or something."

Theo bought the lucky ticket from Midway Market & Liquor Store, which is just 500 yards from the modest home he lives in.

Customers have since been flocking to the shop to see if the good luck might happen again, as Dan added: "It’s funny the amount of people going back to the market after the win like lightning’s going to strike twice."

Despite the concerns for Theo's safety, his neighbors believe that he will continue to live in the small mountainous town despite winning the jackpot five months ago, and don't think that the wealth will change him much.

Powerball
Most people can only dream of their numbers coming up. Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Kevin added: "I don’t think he’s gonna move. He’s happy where he’s at, he’s not in the city, no offense, it’s quiet here. He’s out mountain biking and fishing, enjoying his retirement.

"I hope he doesn’t sell, he’s a great neighbor, he’s completely humble. He’s probably not going to move, and he’ll just be the guy that lives in the neighborhood that won the lotto and we’ll just leave it at that you know."

And the win won't change how he treats him as a neighbor either, as Kevin added: "We’ll still do the same thing, we’ll drive down the street and wave at each other, we’ll catch up on news and stuff, and we’ll go about our business. He’ll just have an incredible amount of money."

Theo's win, which was announced earlier this month by the California State Lottery, is the second-largest win in the history of the lottery at just $28 million less than Edwin Castro’s 2022 win.

Featured image credit: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Neighbors of $1.76 billion Powerball jackpot winner fear he will be kidnapped: 'He has a big bullseye on his back'

vt-author-image

By Kim Novak

Article saved!Article saved!

Neighbors of a man who won the massive $1.76 billion Powerball jackpot have revealed they are keeping a close eye on him for fear he may be kidnapped.

Winning the lottery is most people's dream, however, very few people actually ever get the rush of seeing all their numbers come up - let alone when the jackpot is over a billion dollars.

Well, that's exactly what happened to Theodorus 'Theo' Struyk, 65, who represents the group of people who claimed the $1.76 billion prize on the Powerball jackpot most recently.

And while many people probably wouldn't want to go public with the fact that they've come into so much money, in California, the law mandates that lottery winners are named along with their location.

powerball
He won the massive fortune on the Powerball. Credit: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

So it's no wonder that people in the local area are worried for Theo's safety, as neighbors revealed their fears that a "shady" person may try and kidnap him to extort his wealth.

Neighbor Kevin Woten told the US Sun: "We’re keeping an eye out but you worry about shady people up to no good.

"I’m worried someone might come by and put a sack over his head, throw him in a van, and take him off, that sort of thing.

"I’m hoping he’ll look into security (when he returns). You have to with that amount of money."

The 65-year-old has reportedly placed "no trespassing" signs outside his home in Frazier Park, but his current whereabouts are unknown as he is believed to have gone to visit family in San Diego.

Dan Perry, owner of ANC Fireworks, added to the outlet: "If he needs any security he’ll be fine, I have Jake here [his dog] and we’re cheap.

"If I lived here I would not want to be named, now he has a big bullseye on his back."

The amount of personal information released about a lottery winner varies depending on the state they are in, with each having different laws.

Dan added that he hoped that Theo would invest some of the colossal win back into the town, adding: "This town needs every bit of help it can get.

"It’s one of those rural towns in California that’s kind of neglected by Sacramento, the economy has been down for years. It would be great if he could open a business or something like that, but If I lived here I’d get the hell out, get a nice little place in Santa Barbara or something."

Theo bought the lucky ticket from Midway Market & Liquor Store, which is just 500 yards from the modest home he lives in.

Customers have since been flocking to the shop to see if the good luck might happen again, as Dan added: "It’s funny the amount of people going back to the market after the win like lightning’s going to strike twice."

Despite the concerns for Theo's safety, his neighbors believe that he will continue to live in the small mountainous town despite winning the jackpot five months ago, and don't think that the wealth will change him much.

Powerball
Most people can only dream of their numbers coming up. Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Kevin added: "I don’t think he’s gonna move. He’s happy where he’s at, he’s not in the city, no offense, it’s quiet here. He’s out mountain biking and fishing, enjoying his retirement.

"I hope he doesn’t sell, he’s a great neighbor, he’s completely humble. He’s probably not going to move, and he’ll just be the guy that lives in the neighborhood that won the lotto and we’ll just leave it at that you know."

And the win won't change how he treats him as a neighbor either, as Kevin added: "We’ll still do the same thing, we’ll drive down the street and wave at each other, we’ll catch up on news and stuff, and we’ll go about our business. He’ll just have an incredible amount of money."

Theo's win, which was announced earlier this month by the California State Lottery, is the second-largest win in the history of the lottery at just $28 million less than Edwin Castro’s 2022 win.

Featured image credit: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images