It's the lottery story that just won't go away - the $564 million jackpot that was won by not one, but three lucky winners on 11 February this year. Anytime there's a grand prize that big, it's bound to attract attention, particularly considering that this draw had the distinction of being the third-largest Powerball and fifth-largest US jackpot in history!
Fitting then, that such a huge prize should go on to make such a huge difference in three lucky lottery players' lives. And while the media attention around the draw itself has come to an end, it's the winners themselves who are now grabbing the headlines. Aside from the fact that their tickets were bought in Texas, North Carolina and Puerto Rico, almost nothing is known about the lucky three - which is why excitement at having their identities revealed is reaching such a fever pitch in lottery circles!
There have been recent tales in the media of one lottery player claiming to be the North Carolina winner - single mother, Marie Holmes, to be exact. With four children under the age of 7, one with cerebral palsy, Holmes was a more than fitting recipient of the massive $188 million jackpot win - yet despite asserting that her numbers were a match, she refrained from coming forward to confirm her headline-making prize, leaving some in doubt as to the validity of her claims.
Those reservations are a thing of the past now, however, as Holmes has finally come forward with her winning ticket - a Quick Pick random draw, bought by her mother on the way to church. Despite playing one of the biggest jackpots in US history, Holmes didn't check her ticket until the morning after the draw, when she realised to her incredulous shock that she had matched all the numbers, including the ever-elusive Powerball.
The news was a godsend for Holmes, who had previously worked in a string of low-paying retail jobs to make ends meet, before quitting to spend time with her children. Now her windfall will allow her to keep her commitment to quality time with her family, while giving her the financial security she needs to take care of them for life. As for immediate plans for her jackpot, tithing to her church is at the top of the list, as is a trip abroad to Paris, and maybe even enough credits to finally finish her college degree. One thing's for certain though, this single mother will never have to worry about where her next pay cheque is coming from ever again.
Little is known about the second winner from Texas, other than that the winning ticket was bought in Princeton, 40 miles north of Dallas. However the third winner from Puerto Rico has stepped forward to claim their prize, albeit anonymously. While they have chosen to keep their identity a secret for now (and who can blame them) they'll be spending the time wisely, choosing whether to take the lump sum value of $101 million, or take 30 payments over 29 years. Now those are the kinds of decisions we like to make!
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