The Powerball is rolling across the country. There were three winners in the third-largest Powerball jackpot ever on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2015, which was $564 million. There was a winner in Texas, North Carolina, and Puerto Rico. Only one winner has come forward and that winner has not yet been verified.
However, a 26-year-old North Carolina mother of four has come forward, Marie Holmes. Holmes just recently had to choose between work and her children, one of whom has cerebral palsy. Her first goal is to pay her church tithe. “I wouldn’t have none of it if it wasn’t for God.” The North Carolina Education Lottery officials have not yet confirmed if Holmes is a winner, but if she is, $188 million will have her and her children set for life.
Holmes says the money is all for her children. She can buy a house and pay for her kids’ college tuition and they will not have to worry about anything. Holmes wants her children to understand that money does not change people, but it is there to help. Holmes plans to donate some of the money as well.
However, the state lottery spokesperson, Van Denton, announced that an attorney had contacted lottery officials to announce that his client did not want to immediately claim the prize. In North Carolina, the winner has 180 days to claim the prize, and lottery tickets have to be examined by lottery headquarters. This is an amazing once-in-a-lifetime, never-be-the-same event. After leaving North Carolina, the Powerball kept crossing the country.
There is another claimed winner in Texas. Texas has not been able to confirm a winner yet, either. The executive director of the Texas Lottery Commission says their winner is choosing to seek legal and financial advice before accepting the winnings.
The third winner was in Puerto Rico. This was the first Powerball jackpot winner outside of the United States. In Puerto Rico, lottery winners do not have to pay federal taxes on winnings, but must pay a 20 percent tax to the island, according to a lottery law from 1989.
Not only the people with the right Powerball numbers receive money, as the seller of the winning ticket does as well. The owner of the Appletree Food Mart in Princeton, Texas, will receive $1 million for the ticket he sold. He is excited, as most of his family lives in Nepal. The owner of the Appletree Food Mart is excited to have his grand family reunion.
Winners have the option of taking either a $127 million lump sum before taxes or $188 million annuity paid over 30 years. The winning numbers were 11, 13, 25, 39, 54, and the Powerball number was 19. Seventeen states reported $1 million winners and one lucky winner from Pennsylvania won $2 million. There has not been a Powerball winner since November 29.
Powerball is represented in 44 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. People who live in Alaska, Alabama, Mississippi, Hawaii, Utah, or Nevada have to cross state lines to purchase a Powerball ticket. As the Powerball continues rolling across the country, the chances of winning the Powerball with a $2 ticket is 1 in 175 million.
By Jeanette Smith