The day Lerynne West moved into her new home in Redfield in Iowa, USA, she also bought a Powerball ticket. Little did she guess, that it’d win her half of the October 27 $687.8m Powerball jackpot but she nearly lost the all-important ticket.
The 51-year-old grandmother bought the Powerball ticket from a local Casey’s store while spending time with her sister and then put it in her purse, well she thought she did. The day after the draw, a friend texted asking if she was the Powerball jackpot winner. Lerynne hadn’t checked her ticket and then discovered it wasn’t in her purse. She contacted her sister and she’d found it on the floor of her truck.
She sent a photo of the ticket to her sister who then realized her ticket had matched 08-12-13-19-27 and the Powerball to win half of the 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 overjoyed Powerball winner.
The other winning ticket sold in New York and the winner 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.
Lerynne has opted to accept her winnings as a one-off payment of $198.1m, though that’ll be subject to taxes. Ms West has three daughters and six grandchildren. In September, she began working as a procurement analyst but has already decided to retire. Bruce Osmond from Canada quit his job just three days after winning a $1m Lotto 6/49 prize.
Persuading her three daughters that she’d won the Powerball jackpot wasn’t easy, “They thought I was crazy,” she joked. She’s pledged to make “thoughtful and responsible” decisions when deciding how to spend her Powerball windfall.
Already planned is helping her family and friends and ensuring her grandchildren have a college education. That’s just what Winston Parks did after his $24.5m Canadian Lotto 6/49 win.
West is establishing the Callum Foundation, named after her grandson who died a day after being born earlier this year. The organization will focus on helping those affected by “poverty and hunger, education, animal welfare, and veteran affairs.”
Definitely on its way is a new car to 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.”
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