Family win $430M Powerball jackpot with ‘divine intervention’
A 70-year-old New Jersey woman who bought the winning Powerball ticket last week will be splitting the $429.6 million with her seven kids — proving there’s nothing like a mother’s love.
“I’m still trying to figure out what it’s like [to be a millionaire],” explained Pearlie Smith, who purchased the ticket at a 7-Eleven in Trenton.
Smith and her seven children came forward Friday to claim the Powerball jackpot — saying it was “divine intervention” that helped them win.
“The numbers chosen are not birthdays or anniversaries,” said Valerie Arthur, the eldest. “We had divine intervention. [They came to us] through a dream.”
The Smiths were nothing but smiles as they were introduced by New Jersey lottery officials in Lawrenceville.
“I bet a lot of you are wishing you were me right now,” Arthur joked.
Joined by siblings Marsha Smith, Jackie Sessoms, Tracey Smith, Steven Smith, Rene Smith and Katherine Nunnally, she described how their mom spent $6 on two tickets for drawings held May 7 and on Wednesday.
Arthur said she played the same numbers both times — 5-25-26-44-66, and a Powerball number of 9.
After officials revealed earlier this week that Saturday’s winning ticket was purchased by someone in Trenton, rumors swirled about the identity of the buyer. At one point, a waitress at a popular restaurant in town was forced to come forward and shoot down claims that she was the lucky ticket-holder.
“It was a big shock when we first learned we won,” Arthur recalled. “We usually play the Powerball when it gets over a certain amount. We are not avid players.”
She said her family — most of whom are from Trenton — decided to split the lump-sum option, making Saturday’s sole winning ticket worth about $284 million before taxes.
“Your age factor comes in,” Arthur said. “Am I going to wait 20 years for the money? If I was 20 then maybe. But we are all 38 and older.” And they all plan to keep their day jobs, despite the hefty payout.
“We will all [keep] working,” Arthur said.
Her brother Steven added, “I’m planning for my family. It’s not about spending money frivolously on cars.”
Arthur said that once the Smiths take care of the rest of their family, they plan to use their winnings to give back to their church.
“There are a lot of grandkids,” she said. “[But] yes, we will be paying our tithe, absolutely. God is our life coach.”
(Source: New York Post)
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