The latest Powerball lottery winner story begins when Lerynne West moved to her new home in Redfield in Iowa, USA. With a brand new start, she decided to also buy a Powerball lottery ticket while spending time with her sister. Who knew, she may just win something or even the jackpot…
After purchasing the Powerball ticket, like most lottery players, she popped the ticket into her purse, well at least she thought she did.
After the draw had taken place, a friend texted asking if she was the Powerball jackpot winner. Remembering that she had, in fact, bought a ticket she decided to double check the winning Powerball lottery numbers. She opened her purse to retrieve the ticket but it wasn’t there.
As she had been spending time with her sister she mentioned it to her. Her sister told her that she found her lottery ticket on the floor of her truck.
Taking a photo of the ticket she then sent it to her sister.
Speaking at the press conference, Lerynne said, “I put those numbers into the website online to double check. When you get the numbers right, they show up in red. Well, nothing showed up in red because I had the wrong date in there.”
“When I put the correct date in, it said ‘Jackpot. I thought I’ve done something wrong again.”
To her shock, Lerynne realised that the ticket that she had nearly lost matched the winning Powerball lottery numbers 08-12-13-19-27 and the Power ball for the October 27 $687.8m Powerball jackpot.
As there were two tickets that matched all the winning Powerball winning numbers for the October 27 draw, Lerynne took home $343.9 million. The lucky Powerball lottery winners opted to take her prize as a one-off lump-sum payment of $198.1m. The other winning Powerball ticket sold in New York has yet to come forward.
Her win came just days after a ticket sold in South Carolina, USA, won the $1.6bn Mega Millions jackpot.
“I told my sister to get in her truck and get that ticket and get up here right now! And, “drive slow,” said the newly minted millionaire.
The lucky grandmother has three daughters and six grandchildren and in September of this year started a new job working as a procurement analyst. She did, however, confirm at the press conference accepting her winning Powerball cheque that she has decided to retire.
She also said that “once you have won, you realize the responsibility and the impact you can make, and all the frivolity goes out the window. This will forever change my life and I will use this opportunity to impact others.”
She, like most jackpot winners, had a hard time persuading her three daughters that she’d won the Powerball jackpot. “They thought I was crazy,” she joked.
"She's a great mom," said her daughter, 24-year-old Skylar West. "You can't put into words all the good qualities she has and all the things she would do to help us out."
Speaking at the press conference Lerynne said that she grew up in Earlham, West. When she was 19 she earned her G.E.D and went on to work at local factories.
Her brother, Brett Haynes, said she's always been a “small-town girl” and that his sister raised three kids on her own.
Lerynne told her brother about her lucky Powerball jackpot win on the day of his birthday. "I thought it was a birthday prank," he said. "It's always fun to dream about that stuff. It just doesn't happen in Iowa."
Her friends who've known her for 30 years said she is the best person to get the money. "I know she'll do right with the money," said her friend, Ruth Easter. "Single mom does good. She deserved it."
When asked what her plans are now that she has won such an astronomical amount of money, she said that she would help her family and friends and make sure that her grandchildren have a college education.
Earlier this year her grandson died a day after being born. Lerynne established the Callum Foundation named after her late grandson and with the help of her Powerball winnings the organization will focus on helping those affected by poverty, hunger, education, animal welfare, and veteran affairs.
Other plans the lucky grandmother plans with her new found wealth is to definitely replace her Ford Fiesta that has 142,000 miles on it. She said she wants to buy a new car big enough “to take all my grandchildren places now.”
“My girls and I used to dream about winning the lottery. I never thought we would be here today. I played the lottery twice a week when I had the money to do it. The most I had ever won to this point was $150.”
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