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Meet Lerynne West, the 51-Year-Old Iowa Grandmother Who Just Won $343.9 Million in the Powerball

Meet Lerynne West, the 51-Year-Old Iowa Grandmother Who Just Won $343.9 Million in the Powerball Lerynne West’s new job didn’t last long...

Meet Lerynne West, the 51-Year-Old Iowa Grandmother Who Just Won $343.9 Million in the Powerball

Lerynne West’s new job didn’t last long.

After starting a new position at a healthcare insurance company in September, West, 51, resigned just one month later â€" because she won the Powerball.

Overcoming 292.2 million to 1 odds, West was one of two ticketholders to hit the jackpot for Saturday, October 27th’s $750 million Powerball prize, according to a Monday press release from Powerball. The Redfield, Iowa, grandmother came forward Monday morning to the Powerball headquarters in Clive, Iowa, to accept her half of the prize money.

“Once you have won, you realize the responsibility and the impact you can make, and all the frivolity goes out the window,” West told reporters in a press conference on Monday morning. “This will forever change my life and I will use this opportunity to impact others.”

Taking the cash option of $198.1 million, minus taxes, West said she plans to use the money to support her family â€" including her mother, seven siblings, three daughters and six grandchildren â€" and help others. She has established the Callum Foundation â€" named after her late grandson who died after being born prematurely in April, CBS News reported â€" to share her winnings.

The daughter of a Vietnam veteran and a stay-at-home mom, West described her humble roots during the press conference.

“When I was fourteen, I started detassling and walking beans so that I could earn money to buy my school clothes and to help with the family,” West said. “As a single mom, I worked full-time, I went to school full-time on nights and weekends. … My daughters had to sacrifice a lot for that.”

West continued during the press conference, “My girls and I used to dream about winning the lottery. I never thought we would be here today. I played the lottery twice a week when I had the money to do it. The most I had ever won to this point was $150.”

RELATED: Mega Millions Winner Selling $26 Million Mountaintop Mansion Because of Son’s Heart Condition

West’s lucky purchase came after she had already made a big life change.

“Friday, October 26 … was kind of special for me because I had bought my first home,” West said, adding, “I was moving that day. Around noonish … I said to [my sister], ‘I’m really hungry and I need coffee, can you please take me to Casey’s [General Store] so I can get a slice of pizza and a coffee?’ So her and I went to Casey’s in Redfield … and I said, ‘Oh yeah, can I get my lottery tickets?’ … I didn’t think of them again until Sunday morning.”

West said once she remembered to look, she couldn’t find her tickets, eventually discovering she had left them on the floor of her sister’s pickup truck.

She recalled during the press conference, “I put those numbers into the IAlottery.com. When you get the numbers right, they show up in red. … Well, nothing showed up in red because I had the wrong date in there.”

RELATED VIDEO: Lottery Winner with Cancer Dies Three Weeks After Finally Being Able to Afford Doctor

“When I put the correct date in, it said ‘Jackpot,’ ” West continued, adding, “I thought, ‘I’ve done something wrong again.’ ”

West said it took her a minute to fully realize that she had won, at which point she told her sister to “get that ticket, get into your truck, get up here now and drive slow.”

Now, West has big plans.

“I’m gonna buy a car,” she said. “Currently I drive a Ford Fiesta with 142,000 miles on it. I’m gonna get a car that I can take all my grandchildren places.”

The Callum Foundation will help individuals by grantmaking in several areas: poverty and hunger, education, animal welfare, and veteran affairs, according to the website.

The other winning Oct. 27 Powerball ticket was sold in New York City.

Show Full ArticleSource: Google News | Netizen 24 United States

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