• NC mom with 4 kids claims $188 Powerball winnings


    SHALLOTTE, N.C. - The North Carolina mother who won $188 million in the Powerball jackpot claimed her prize Monday at the North Carolina Education Lottery headquarters.

    Marie Holmes, a 26-year-old mother with four kids, one of whom has cerebral palsy was one of three winners in the Feb. 11 $565 million Powerball jackpot.

    It was the largest jackpot won in North Carolina.

    Holmes said there were seven people livinig in the same residence and the money will help her children get into the programs they need to be in.

    UPDATE from Friday, Feb. 13:

    One of the three winning tickets in Wednesday’s Powerball drawing belongs to Marie Holmes, a 26-year-old mother with four kids, one of whom has cerebral palsy. (Source: FoxWilmington.com)

    Holmes worked at Walmart and McDonald’s but had quit to take care of her children. 

    When she was asked if she’s ready to deal with that much money, Holmes said, “I’m ready for it. I’m ready to embrace the change. I’m very grateful for what’s about to happen for my family.” (Watch interview.)

    She said she will donate some of the money to her church and then put aside money for her children to go to college.

    The other two winning tickets for Wednesday night’s Powerball were sold in Texas and Puerto Rico.

    Puerto Rico, North Carolina, Texas tickets win Powerball

    Somebody who stopped by a Shell station in southern Puerto Rico was potentially $100 million richer on Thursday, winning a share of a $564.1 million Powerball jackpot — the first winner outside the continental United States.

    The winner, who will share the jackpot with whoever purchased a winning ticket in North Carolina and another in Texas, has not yet come forward. But several Puerto Ricans who bought tickets at the station in the coastal city of Ponce have stopped by to ask about who won, said employee Yomaris Rentas.

    She had just started her shift at the 24-hour station early Thursday when the lottery machine began printing a message alerting her that the winning ticket had been sold there.

    "I couldn't believe it!" she said with a laugh. "We're celebrating."

    The winner can claim the prize starting on Friday, choosing between a lump sum payment of $101.6 million or 30 payments over 29 years, said Antonio Perez Lopez, assistant secretary of the Puerto Rico Lottery.

    "We are beyond thrilled with the news that we already have a multimillion-dollar winner just four months after Puerto Rico began selling Powerball tickets," he said.

    Neither of the other two winners has been identified either.

    The Texas Lottery posted on Twitter that one of the winning tickets was sold at Appletree Food Mart in Princeton, a city about 40 miles north of Dallas.

    Lottery officials in North Carolina said the other winning ticket was sold at a convenience store in Shallotte, a coastal town just north of the South Carolina border.

    Besides 44 states and Washington, D.C., the game is also played in the U.S. Virgin Islands, but there has never been a jackpot winner there, said Sue Dooley, senior drawing manager and production coordinator for the Multi-State Lottery Association.

    It had been nearly a year since a Powerball prize reached the giant number people have come to expect recently. That was last February, when someone won $425.3 million.

    Wednesday's jackpot was the third-largest in Powerball history and the fifth-largest U.S. lottery prize. The last time a Powerball jackpot climbed so high was May 2013, when a Florida ticket won a $590.5 million prize.

    Should the winners select the lump sum option, each would get a one-third share of $381,138,450.16 before taxes. The other option is an annuity, under which the lottery would make payments 30 times over 29 years.

    The largest payout in U.S. history was to three ticketholders in the Mega Millions game, the other national lottery drawing. That was a $656 million prize won in March 2012 by players in Kansas, Illinois and Maryland.

    In 2012, state officials who run Powerball and Mega Millions changed ticket prices and lowered the odds of winning jackpots in hopes the moves would increase the number of huge prizes and draw more players. The new rules worked, causing jackpots to repeatedly climb to record levels. More than half of the top 10 U.S. jackpots have been reached in the past couple of years.

    The winning numbers in Wednesday's drawing were: 11, 13, 25, 39, 54 and the Powerball 19.

    The jackpot now goes back to $40 million for the next drawing on Saturday.

    Facts about Powerball

    Thursday's $564 million jackpot, according to the Powerball website, has been growing for the past two months, gradually increasing since starting at $40 million.

    The six states that do not have the Powerball: Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi, Nevada and Utah.

    CLICK here for a list of prizes and odds on the Powerball.

    It's more likely to die in a lightning strike -- one in 136,000 -- or on board a plane -- one in 8,000, CNN Money reported.

    It's more likely to be crushed by an asteroid that falls out of the sky -- one in 700,000 -- or a high school football player will play professionally -- one in 1 million.

    CLICK here for more statistics from CNN Money on the odds of winning the lottery.

    Powerball, has been known, along with Mega Millions, for its record-breaking jackpots in recent years.

    The association also operates the Mega Millions jackpot, which awarded a top prize of $656 million in 2012.

    MORE INFO: Why lottery jackpots are so high

    The game costs $2 for a single play for one drawing. To add the Power Play multiplier, it costs an additional $1 for each play.

    CLICK here for more information on how to play.

    Next Up: