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» BREAKING NEWS, GUEST RUNDOWNS » NEW JERSEY MOTHER AND 7 ADULT CHILDREN TO SPLIT $429.6 MILLION POWERBALL JACKPOT!

NEW JERSEY MOTHER AND 7 ADULT CHILDREN TO SPLIT $429.6 MILLION POWERBALL JACKPOT!

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 The winners of the huge Powerball jackpot came forward Friday, and it turned out to be a familyaffair.

As CBS2’s Cindy Hsu reported, a New Jersey woman and her seven adult children stepped forward to claim the $429.6 million Powerball jackpot.

The 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.

The mother of the family, whose name is Pearlie, bought the ticket at the Trenton 7-Eleven. Her oldest daughter, Valerie Arthur, talked about how her sister, Marcia, spread the word.

“Marcia called me on the phone and said, ‘Guess who won the Powerball,’ and I said, ‘Who?’ and she said, ‘We did,’” Arthur said, “and I said, ‘Well, stop April fooling me and get off of my phone!’”

Arthur said she hasn’t slept since she found out.

The family only plays the lottery when the jackpot gets big. So how did they pick the winning numbers?

“Divine intervention gave us the numbers,” Arthur said. “That’s the only way you can explain that.”

Arthur said one of the family members had a dream about the numbers, and that’s what they played — buying just $6 worth of tickets.

She said the first things they will pay off are student loans and mortgages, and then it will go toward work the sisters, brother and mother have been doing for years.

“It was like an affirmation from God,” Arthur said, “because we each have dreams that we want to fulfill in this life, and do for our community, and do for each other and our families, and it was like we have been funded to do that.”

One example was a sister, Catherine, who has been mentoring young women for 15 years, CBS Philly reported.

“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 said she herself retired about a year ago from being a prison administrator at a correctional facility for nearly 30 years.

And the whole family agreed — this was the way to win.

“If you give a lot, then you receive a lot,” Arthur said. “Obviously, we’ve given a lot.”

The family would only say they are from a city in New Jersey. They have hired a team of lawyers and advisers to help.

LotteryWinnersNJ

Lottery officials say the family chose the smaller lump sum payment over the higher valued annuity. So the $6 investment will yield $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.

Only one ticket matched all six Powerball numbers in Saturday night’s drawing. The winning numbers were 5-25-26-44-66, and the Powerball number was 9.

The 7-Eleven vendor who old the ticket also gets a prize, but the amount has not yet been announced.

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.

The ticket is the largest single jackpot winning ticket sold in New Jersey and the sixth-largest in Powerball history.

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.

 

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