LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. (AP/CBS) — A woman and her seven adult children stepped forward Friday to claim a $429.6 million Powerball jackpot.
Eight members of the Smith family announced that they had the sole winning ticket purchased in Trenton for last Saturday’s drawing. They plan to tithe 10 percent of the money to their church.
One of the daughters said the family matriarch spent $6 for two tickets for drawings held last Wednesday and Saturday. They have hired attorneys to help them with the money and will take a trip to the usual family spot, though they wouldn’t say where that was.
The trip to claiming the jackpot began last week at a 7-Eleven in Trenton when someone bought two $2 tickets, one each for drawings held last Wednesday and Saturday, and spent an extra $1 on each ticket to get the “Power Play” option that multiplies the winnings.
The purchaser chose the lower lump sum option over the higher-valued annuity, making Saturday’s sole winning ticket worth $284 million before taxes.
“They spent $6 to win $284 million. That’s a pretty good investment,” Carole Hedinger, the New Jersey Lottery’s executive director, said earlier this week.
Most of the convenience store’s customers are locals who come in a few times a week to buy coffee or a soda and maybe a sandwich or snack. That led area residents to speculate that the person who holds the winning ticket may be living among them.
Valerie Arthur, the family’s spokeswoman, said laughingly, “divine intervention gave us the numbers.”
Arthur says all of the family members have plans to enrich their own lives and those of others with their winnings. One example was a sister, Catherine, who has been mentoring young women for 15 years.
“It has been a struggle to get funding and now she has her own funding where she can help these young women at risk, and doesn’t have to rely upon any grants,” said Arthur.
Arthur says they are not divulging their hometowns to protect their privacy.
The ticket is the largest single jackpot winning ticket sold in New Jersey and the sixth-largest in Powerball history.
The winning numbers were 5-25-26-44-66, and the Powerball number was 9.
Powerball is played in 44 states plus Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The odds of winning are one in 292.2 million.
KYW’s Kim Glovas contributed to this story.
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