Iowa Winner Sets Up Charity After Claiming Half of $687 Million Powerball Jackpot

Tuesday November 6th 2018

The Powerball player from Iowa who won half of last month’s $687 million jackpot has come forward to claim her money. Lerynne West, from Redfield, is now looking forward to enjoying the prize with her loved ones and hopes to help others with the new charitable foundation she has already launched in honor of her grandson.

Next Estimated Jackpot:
$472 Million
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West matched all five main numbers plus the Powerball in the eagerly-awaited drawing on Saturday October 27th, along with a ticket holder from New York. She claimed her $343 million prize at a media ceremony in Iowa on Monday, revealing that she had left her winning entry in her sister’s pickup truck until the draw took place.

Lerynne, who had bought her ticket at Casey’s General Store in her hometown after stopping for pizza and a coffee with her sister, said she hadn’t had a strategy for choosing her numbers and had just asked for a Quick Pick. “If I was meant to win it, I was meant to win it,” she said.

Recalling the moment she discovered she had won, Lerynne said that she got in touch with members of her family but none of them believed her. “I called my daughter, and I told her I needed her to come out because I think I won the lottery, and she said, 'Oh, OK’.”

Plans For The Money

Lerynne, who has three daughters, six grandchildren and seven siblings, said she had always dreamt about winning the lottery and thought about all the cars she would buy. However, now that it has happened she is determined to use the money wisely, saying: “Once you have won and you realize the responsibility and the impact you can make, all frivolity goes out the window.”

Speaking about her plans for the money, Lerynne said in a statement from the Iowa Lottery: “I realize this is a life-changing moment. 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.”

The Callum Foundation has been set up to honor Lerynne’s grandson, who was born prematurely in April and died a day later. It will donate money to education, animal welfare and poverty relief.

Lerynne has already left her job with an insurance company so that she can focus more of her time on the Callum Foundation. She chose to take the cash option of $198 million rather than the full $343 million as an annuity, and after taxes she received $140 million.

The $687 million jackpot was the third-largest to be given away in the history of Powerball, and came just days after a player from South Carolina won $1.5 billion on Mega Millions. The Mega Millions winner and the Powerball winner from New York are both still to come forward.

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