Lerynne West, Iowa Grandmother, ID’d as Powerball Jackpot Winner

By Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.
November 5, 2018 Updated: November 5, 2018

A grandmother from Iowa claimed half of the nearly $700 million Powerball prize, said lottery officials on Nov. 5.

Lerynne West of Clive will share the prize with someone who bought a winning ticket in New York City, CBS News reported.

West opted for the cash option, which will pay her an immediate $191 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)

“When you get numbers right, they show up in red,” West said of winning. “Well, nothing showed up in red because I had the wrong date in there.”

After correcting the date, she said, “It was red, red, red, red, red, red, jackpot, and I thought I’ve done something wrong again.”

“I’m excited to share my winnings with family and friends, plan to purchase a new car, and look forward to a long vacation—or several. I also plan to give to the causes and organizations important to my family through our newly established Callum Foundation,” West also told the Iowa Lottery, according to the Des Moines Register.

“I’m going to get a car big enough,” she added to CBS, “that I can take all my grandchildren places now.”

The paper reported that West, 51, grew up mainly in Earlham and has lived in Dallas County, Iowa, most of her life.

“We have a board set up that will go over the requests and decide what is in the best interests of the Callum Foundation,” West added. “The whole thing of knowing when to pull together a team and work on these plans came from years of playing and daydreaming about winning the lottery. Then once it finally happens, it’s a whole new ballgame.”

The 51-year-old worked for a health insurance organization, but says she retired last week— barely a month after starting a new job.

A biography on the site of a charity she established says West has three adult daughters, six grandchildren, and seven siblings. She got a general-equivalency diploma in 1986 and an Upper Iowa University degree in human resources in 2006.

In winning the Powerball jackpot, West overcame odds of one in 292.2 million, CBS noted.

Largest Jackpots

Other than the most recent $1.5 billion Mega Millions and $688 million Powerball jackpot wins, here are the 10 largest U.S. jackpots that have been won and the states where the winning tickets were sold, according to The Associated Press:

1. $1.586 billion, Powerball, Jan. 13, 2016 (three tickets, from California, Florida, and Tennessee)

2. $758.7 million, Powerball, Aug. 23, 2017 (one ticket, from Massachusetts)

3. $656 million, Mega Millions, March 30, 2012 (three tickets, from Kansas, Illinois, and Maryland)

4. $648 million, Mega Millions, Dec. 17, 2013 (two tickets, from California and Georgia)

5. $590.5 million, Powerball, May 18, 2013 (one ticket, from Florida)

6. $587.5 million, Powerball, Nov. 28, 2012 (two tickets, from Arizona and Missouri)

7. $564.1 million, Powerball, Feb. 11, 2015 (three tickets, from North Carolina, Puerto Rico and Texas)

8. $559.7 million, Powerball, Jan. 6, 2018 (one ticket, New Hampshire)

9. $543 million, Mega Millions, July 24, 2018 (one ticket, California)

10. $536 million, Mega Millions, July 8, 2016 (one ticket, from Indiana)

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.