The massive Powerball jackpot was won by two players! Two tickets matched all the winning numbers and each ticket holder will get half of the estimated $687.8 million jackpot! This is the fourth largest prize in US lottery history. The largest Powerball jackpot was $1.586 billion, and it was shared by three players back in January 2016!
Sharing the Powerball Jackpot
Each winning ticket is worth $343.9 million or $198.1 million for the cash option. The winning numbers drawn on Saturday, October 22nd, 2018 were 8, 12, 13, 19, 27 and 4 for the Powerball. The lucky players who come from Iowa and New York won the jackpot after 21 drawings without a winner. The last jackpot win was back in August of last year.
US Powerball rules state that if two or more players get the winning numbers the jackpot will be split equally between the ticket holders. In this case, even half of the jackpot means a life-changing amount!
Grandmother from Iowa Gets Half the Jackpot
Lerynne West is a 51-year-old woman who lives in Redfield, a small town in Iowa. She bought her tickets at Casey’s General Store in Redfield while going for pizza and coffee with her sister. They were out celebrating the fact that she bought her first home and moving into it that same day.
West thought she had put the tickets in her purse, but she forgot it on the floor of her sister’s truck! Luckily, when she realized she might be the jackpot winner, she called her sister who found the misplaced lottery ticket. Talk about luck!
Lerynee West checked the photo of the ticket her sister sent her and she realized she had matched all the numbers. She was overwhelmed with enthusiasm when she called her sister:
“I told my sister to get in her truck and get that ticket and get up here right now! And, drive slow.”
West opted for the lump sum, which means she will take home $198.1 million, making her the largest lottery prize winner ever in Iowa.
Iowa Winner Plans to Give Back
Born in Earlham, Iowa, West has seven siblings, and she comes from a hard-working family. Her father worked as a welder and her mother was a stay-at-home mom.
West raised her three daughters as a single mother, working in the insurance field. She now has six grandchildren whose future she wants to take care of.
She played the lottery twice a week when she afforded it. After winning the jackpot, she decided to retire from her job as a procurement analyst. She wants to put her newly-won money to good use!
“I know the responsibility that I have to do good with this money, and my life has changed forever,” she said in between tears Monday. “I plan to make thoughtful and responsible decisions on giving to my friends, my family and setting up so that my grandchildren will all have a college education.”
Moreover, she is establishing a foundation dedicated to her grandson who died soon after being born in April. The Callum Foundation will give grants focusing on poverty, hunger, education, veteran affairs, and animal welfare.
She plans to help her extended family and buy a bigger car for herself.
Manhattan Man Claims Half the Powerball Jackpot
Robert Bailey, a 67-year-old retired federal employee, is the other winning ticket holder. He took his time before coming forward to claim his prize, as he wanted to contact a legal advisor before cashing in half of the amazing jackpot.
He bought the lucky ticket from the West Harlem Deli on Fifth Avenue, not long before the official October 27 draw. He went into the Deli because it was raining that day, and that’s when he purchased the Powerball ticket. Bailey also chose the lump sum payment method, which means he will take home more than $125 million after due taxes.
Bailey has been playing the same lucky numbers for the last 25 years:
“A family member gave me the numbers over 25 years ago and I faithfully play them.”
He regularly buys tickets in three or four different stores, but the one bought in the Deli proved to be the best investment of his life. He was in total shock when he found out he won half of the jackpot by checking his ticket online after the official drawing.
“I said to myself, ‘These look like my numbers.’ I tried to remain calm and sat down to watch some shows I had on my DVR. I didn’t sleep the rest of the night.”
Bailey’s Plans for the Future
Robert Bailey said that he is still in shock after his win, but he is feeling blessed and happy. He plans to buy a house for his mother and travel as much as possible. He also hopes to make some good investments that will help both him and his family in the years to come.
Bailey will still play the lottery because he considers the experience life-changing. He will continue to play the same lucky numbers he’s been playing for the last 25 years!
Playing Powerball can prove to be a life-changing experience, especially when the jackpots sky-rocket! Feeling inspired by these success stories? Then it is time to start playing and see if you become the next Powerball winner!