Sunday, 18 November, 2018

Iowa victor claims huge Powerball jackpot

Iowa single mother identified as one of two Powerball winners decides to take $198 million cash option Lerynne West shows off her big new check on Monday
Jean Garcia | 06 November, 2018, 13:52

West's ticket split the Powerball jackpot in the October 27 drawing with a ticket purchased in New York City.

Iowa Lottery CEO Terry Rich, left, presents a check to Lerynne West, of Redfield, Iowa, center, for her share of a almost $700 million Powerball prize, Monday, Nov. 5, 2018, at the Iowa Lottery headquarters in Clive, Iowa.

Lerynne West, 51, bought her tickets at Casey's General Store in the small town of Redfield, Iowa, while grabbing pizza and coffee with her sister. "I played the lottery twice a week, when I had the money to do it", she said. West opted for the cash payout, meaning she will take home almost $200 million, before taxes.

West said once she remembered to look, she couldn't find her tickets, eventually discovering she had left them on the floor of her sister's pickup truck. After taxes, she will walk away with $140.1 million, Garman said.

After hearing someone from Iowa had won half of a almost $700 million Powerball jackpot, Lerynne West couldn't find the ticket she'd bought the day before so asked her sister to check.

October 28, the morning after the drawing, a friend texted West to ask if she had won the lottery, since someone from Iowa had split the jackpot with a victor in NY.

She'll be sharing the $688 million prize with a Big Apple resident, who has yet to come forward. The $344 million ticket was purchased at a gas station in Redfield last month and the victor says she won't let the life changing amount of money change her. The New York ticket has yet to be claimed.

It's the largest lottery prize ever won by an Iowan.

Georgia school probes racist slur displayed by marching band
However, the Snellville, Georgia, students entrusted with this duty during the school's last game chose to spell out "c**n" instead.

West raised her three daughters as a single mother, working in the insurance industry.

She now has six grandchildren.

Halting briefly to hold back tears, West said the foundation was named after a grandson born prematurely in April who lived only one day. "They thought I was insane". She and her family will fund causes they deem worthy, she said.

She is overjoyed with her winnings, she said.

The charitable foundation will be focused on making grants in the areas of alleviating poverty and hunger; education; animal welfare; and veteran's affairs.

While she's going to pay it forward, she's also going to help her family.

She plans to buy a new house and replace her vehicle, a Ford Fiesta with 228,500 kilometres "that people have beat up".

Her Ford Fiesta has 142,000 miles on it and it's seen better days.

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