North Carolina mother claims share of $564 million Powerball jackpot

Reuters News
Posted: Feb 23, 2015 3:05 PM

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (Reuters) - A North Carolina woman said she is eager to give her four children a more comfortable life after state lottery officials confirmed on Monday that she had presented one of the tickets worth a third of the $564.1 million U.S. Powerball jackpot.

Dressed in a beige pant suit, Marie Holmes, 26, smiled as confetti fell at a Raleigh news conference where a lottery official handed her a ceremonial big check.

"I’m still processing it," Holmes said of her win. "It’s not hit me yet."

Her ticket, one of three winning jackpot tickets sold ahead of the Feb. 11 drawing, is worth $188 million as an annuity payment or $127 million for a lump-sum payment. It was sold at a convenience store in the coastal town of Shallotte.

The other winning tickets were purchased in Puerto Rico and Princeton, Texas, in what was the third largest Powerball jackpot and one of the largest lottery jackpots in the United States.

A winner who wished to remain anonymous has come forward in Puerto Rico but no one has presented the winning ticket in Texas, according to the Multi-State Lottery Association.

Winners have 180 days to claim their prize. Powerball tickets are sold in 44 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Holmes, a full-time mother, said she only played the lottery when she had spare cash. She is still sorting out how to spend her windfall, she said, with initial plans including traveling overseas and sending her children to better schools.

"I'm definitely moving," she said.

(Reporting by Colleen Jenkins; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)