LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. (AP) — A woman and her seven adult children stepped forward Friday to claim a $429.6 million Powerball jackpot and said they have plans to tithe to their church, go on a family vacation and help their community.
But mostly they’re just still letting it sink in.
“Wow. That’s what it’s like,” Pearlie Mae Smith, 70, said at a news conference at state lottery headquarters with her children. “I’m still trying to figure out what it’s like.”
Smith’s daughter Valerie Arthur, who retired after 27 years as a state corrections administrator last August, said she expected “in about an hour from now everyone we know will come out of the woodwork.”
“We each have dreams that we want to fulfill in this life and do for our community and do for each other and our families, and it was like, well, we have been funded to do that,” Arthur said.
Smith, of Trenton, opted for the lump sum payout of $284 million when she purchased separate $3 tickets last week at a 7-Eleven in Trenton for drawings held Wednesday and Saturday. Arthur said the family hired lawyers and took time before coming forward to get educated on how best to handle the windfall.
The ticket is the largest single jackpot winning ticket sold in New Jersey and the sixth-largest in Powerball history.
The other siblings, seated in front of dozens of reporters and cameras, said they don’t plan to quit their jobs but hadn’t yet told their employers about the win.
“Are we live?” Arthur asked. “They’re finding out right now.”
Katherine Nunnally, another of Smith’s daughters, says she works in education and wants to help put at-risk girls in touch with powerful women as role models and help them get internships. Now she has the money to do it herself, she said.