Iowa Powerball Winner Makes Massive Donation to Wounded Veterans

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November 15, 2018 Updated: November 15, 2018

A Powerball winner who took home more than $100 million is sharing some of her new wealth with wounded veterans.

Lerynne West, 51, of Redfield, Iowa, split the $687.8 million jackpot last month, sharing it with a New York man. She took a lump sum, and after taxes, she took home $140 million. The jackpot, without taxes, was $343.9 million.

Epoch Times Photo
Iowa Lottery CEO Terry Rich, left, presents a check to Lerynne West, of Redfield, Iowa, center, for her share of a nearly $700 million Powerball prize, Monday, Nov. 5, 2018, at the Iowa Lottery headquarters in Clive, Iowa. West was one of two winners of a $688 million jackpot drawn Oct. 27. She’ll share the prize with someone who bought the other winning ticket in New York City. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

“Friday, October 26th started out like most other days, only it was kind of special for me because I had bought my first home,” the single mother of three said at a press conference, according to CNBC. “I bought a home in Redfield, Iowa, and I was moving that day. Around noon-ish, the movers had left, my son-in-law had left and my sister was coming up to help me pack.”

West has donated $500,000 to a veterans group, the Travis Mills Foundation, and she made the announcement on the “Ellen DeGeneres Show” on Nov. 14, an Associated Press report said.

West noted that it’s important “that we never forget the sacrifices our soldiers and families make for our country.” On the show, she said her father was a veteran of the Vietnam War, and her three brothers served in the military in different capacities.

“I want you to know that as I stand here today I know the responsibility that I have to do good with this money,” she also said of her winnings, CNBC reported.

On Nov. 14, Robert Bailey, a retired government worker, claimed last month’s $343.8 million Powerball jackpot. He’s taking home more than $125 million after state and federal taxes.

Bailey, 67, told the New York Post he’s “faithfully” played the same numbers since 1993. Those numbers were 8, 12, 13, 19, 27, and 40. “Yes, I will continue playing my numbers until this train runs out,” he told the paper, saying he’ll keep playing the lottery despite being a winner.

When he won, he “tried to remain calm and sat down and watch some shows I had on my DVR,” he told the paper. “I didn’t sleep the rest of the night.”

Bailey added he’s planning to “do the right thing” with his newfound wealth. He plans on going on vacations and purchasing land for his elderly mother.

$1.5 Billion Mega Millions Jackpot Unclaimed

Last month’s $1.5 billion Mega Millions jackpot winner has yet to come forward to claim the gigantic prize. The winning numbers were revealed in October, and the winning ticket was sold at a KC Mart store in Simpsonville, South Carolina, but officials don’t know who the person is, CNN reported on Nov. 14.

“They still have over 100 days to come forward,” Holli Armstrong, a South Carolina Education Lottery spokeswoman, told the network.

“The winner has an option on the claim form to check ‘yes’ or ‘no’ for publicity,” Armstrong said. “If the winner declines publicity, we respect their wishes and do not release their name.”