Powerball jackpot winner in North Carolina: Single mom of 4
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A single mother of four from a small North Carolina town came forward Monday as one of three winners in a huge Powerball jackpot drawn earlier this month.
For Marie Holmes, the best thing about the lucky ticket in the $564 million jackpot is that she'll be able to provide for her children, she said at a news conference. All of her children are under 7, and one has cerebral palsy.
Holmes, 26, said she gave her mom $15 to buy five tickets at a convenience store on her way to church.
Weeks later, life is very different. Security accompanies her everywhere, and Holmes said she's getting used to that. At the news conference, she was flanked by her lawyer and her financial adviser.
Holmes said she'll take the lump-sum payment option of $127 million before taxes. She said she'll give some money to church, and she wants to travel, perhaps to Paris - she's never been outside the U.S.
But she said the news of the jackpot is still sinking in.
Marie Holmes: 'I thought I was going to have a heart attack'
Holmes and her family live in a trailer in Shallotte, North Carolina - a coastal town just north of the South Carolina border.
Another of the three winners has elected to remain anonymous in Puerto Rico. The third winner, in Texas, hasn't come forward. The Texas Lottery posted on Twitter that one of the winning tickets was sold at Appletree Food Mart in Princeton, a city about 40 miles north of Dallas.
Holmes' win is the fourth time that a North Carolina ticket has claimed a Powerball jackpot.
The winning numbers were: 11, 13, 25, 39, 54 and the Powerball 19.
It had been nearly a year since a Powerball prize reached the giant number people have come to expect recently. That was last February, when someone won $425.3 million.
The Feb. 11 jackpot was the third-largest in Powerball history and the fifth-largest U.S. lottery prize. The last time a Powerball jackpot climbed so high was May 2013, when a Florida ticket won a $590.5 million prize.
The largest payout in U.S. history was to three ticketholders in the Mega Millions game, the other national lottery drawing. That was a $656 million prize won in March 2012 by players in Kansas, Illinois and Maryland.
In 2012, state officials who run Powerball and Mega Millions changed ticket prices and lowered the odds of winning jackpots in hopes the moves would increase the number of huge prizes and draw more players. The new rules worked, causing jackpots to repeatedly climb to record levels. More than half of the top 10 U.S. jackpots have been reached in the past couple of years.
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