Powerball Winner Louise White was 81 at the time of her big Powerball lotto win but her lawyers still found time to describe her as a ‘vivacious octogenarian’ when she came to collect her winning cheque for the $336.4 million Powerball jackpot.
There’s no doubt that the unexpected windfall put a spring into her step as she appeared before cameras at lottery headquarters that Tuesday in March 2012.
There was plenty of rumour as to who had won the Powerball lotto jackpot in the small town of Newport; there was even speculation that it was a passing vacationer who had taken their winnings off to another state. No one had the faintest idea that the lucky Powerball winner was Louise White, a long-time resident and well known in the Stop and Shop store where she decided to play Powerball.
The Rhode Island resident had gone into the convenience store to buy Rainbow Sherbert ice cream for her son and she decided to purchase a Powerball lottery ticket at the same time. She waited nearly a month to come forward, electing instead to get the right advice from a team of lawyers and financial advisors. Much like $124.9 million 2014 Powerball jackpot winner Mary Ann Thompson who seeked financial advice before claiming as well.
Louise lives with her son, LeRoy, who is a well-known local musician, and his wife, and when she realised that she had the winning ticket it took a while to sink in. When the Powerball results were read out on the TV, she missed a few and had to wait until it was repeated. Then she realised they all matched and an excited Louise called out to her son and daughter in law.
They immediately double checked the winning Powerball numbers online. After jumping up and down and hugging each other, they put their Powerball jackpot winning ticket in the safest place they knew, the family Bible, and went and had breakfast. It’s what you do when you’ve just netted several million.
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At the time of the draw it was the third largest Powerball jackpot win and netted Louise and her family $210 million because she opted to take the lump sum rather than an annuity. After tax that worked out to around $144 million.
Lawyers acting for Louise White said there weren’t any concrete plans for what the winner would do with the Powerball lotto money but that she’d set up a charity called Rainbow Sherbert in honour of the ice cream that led her into the store in the first place.
According to her legal team she wanted to concentrate on helping her family and others with the windfall and the Rainbow Sherbert Trust was a way of distancing herself from such a large sum of money.