Mother And Her 7 Children Win $429M Powerball Jackpot

| by Kathryn Schroeder
Rene Smith, Pearlie Smith and Katherine NunnallyRene Smith, Pearlie Smith and Katherine Nunnally

A New Jersey mother and her seven adult children won the $429.6 million Powerball jackpot on May 7 with numbers that came to one of them in a dream.

“Divine Intervention," Valerie Arthur, the oldest of the Smith family children, said during a press conference at the New Jersey Lottery headquarters on May 13, according to NJ. “It's the only way you can explain it. No birthdays, no anniversary dates. Through a dream.”

Arthur’s 70-year-old mother, Pearlie Mae Smith, purchased the winning ticket at a 7-Eleven in Trenton. She bought two tickets, one each for the May 4 and 7 drawings and spent an extra $1 to get the Power Play option. The family spent $6 to win $429.6 million.

"I guess you're all thinking you wish you were me right now," Arthur said of winning the jackpot. "It was a big shock. It was a bigger shock when we learned we were the only ticket holder."

The other Smith family children who will share the winnings include Steven Smith, Jacqueline Sessoms, Marsha-Ann Smith, Rene Smith, Tracy Smith, and Katherine Nunnally.

"I'm very, very proud of my children," Smith said in regards to raising them. "I made it through by the grace of God."

Even with their big lottery win, some of the Smith children plan to continue working.

Cathy Smith, who runs a mentoring program for young women, will use her winnings to continue the work she has done for 15 years.

"It has been a struggle to get funding," Arthur said. "Now she has her own funding. She can go and change lives on her own accord."

The family took the cash ticket option, so they will receive their winnings in a lump sum of $284 million. After taxes have been deducted, they should have about $204,480,000.

The family plans to give 10 percent of their winnings to their church, the Daily Mail reports.

“I just want you to know that anything can happen in New Jersey,” Arthur said.

Sources: NJ, Daily Mail / Photo credit: NJ

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