Wow! The winner of last month’s $336.4 million Powerball jackpot has finally been revealed and she’s an 81-year-old SISTAH!
Rhode Island lottery officials confirmed Tuesday that Louise White of Newport, described as a ‘vivacious octogenarian’ by her lawyers, had won the sixth largest jackpot in U.S. history.
‘I want to say that I’m very happy and I’m very proud, and this will make my family very happy,’ she said at a press conference on Tuesday morning.
Rhode Island Governor Lincoln D. Chafee commended her for her prudence in waiting to come forward until after she got help and set up a trust. ‘Not only were you lucky, you were very smart. You took your time and you hired professionals, ‘ he said. ‘You’re a lucky and smart woman.’
She bought the winning ticket for the February 11 drawing at a Stop & Shop supermarket in Newport when she was buying rainbow sherbet.
She has since set up the Rainbow Sherbert Trust in honor of her fortuitous purchase. After she realized she had the winning ticket she tucked it in her Bible for safe keeping at home, where she lives with her son LeRoy, a musician, and his wife Deborah, a nurse.
White said she wrote down the numbers when they were read on television after the drawing, but missed a few so she waited 10 minutes to hear them again. She didn’t check her ticket immediately.
When she did, each of the numbers was the same. ‘Is anybody awake — I want you to come look at something,’ she yelled.
Not believing she was the winner, she said, she checked the numbers online. Still the same.
‘We still didn’t believe it, so we turned off the computer and turned it back on and went back to the website and my numbers were still there,’ White said.
‘We hugged each other and jumped up and down screaming!! … We hid the ticket in the Bible and went for breakfast on Sunday since we couldn’t do anything with it.’
The lump sum payment she has elected to receive will be a whopping $210 million before taxes, and she’ll then pay $52.5million in federal taxes and more than $14 million to the state.
The ticket price for Powerball increased from $1 to $2 in January. Rising sales nearly doubled the jackpot from $173.5 million on February 1.
Powerball is played in 42 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The chance of matching all five numbers and the Powerball number is about 1 in 175 million.
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