Marie Holmes, 26, was a struggling mother of four who recently had to quit her jobs at Walmart and McDonald’s to take care of her children, one of whom has cerebral palsy.
That was until she won the lottery this week.
Holmes, from Shallotte, North Carolina, has one of three winning Powerball tickets. Though her ticket hasn’t been confirmed by lottery officials, Holmes won one-third of the $564.1 million prize. She could receive $188 million.
"I thought I was going to have a heart attack when I saw the ticket and checked it,” she told WECT. She screamed when she found out she won and immediately told her kids. "They said I scared them," Holmes said.
Holmes plans to set up college funds for her children and move to a new house after she donates money to a church. "I wouldn't have none of it if it wasn't for God,” she said.
When asked if she was ready for a significant change in her life, Holmes replied, "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.”
Holmes can either receive $188 million in an annuity paid over 30 years, or a $127 million lump sum, before federal and state taxes. She plans to consult a financial planner and a lawyer before deciding what to do.
“It's a lucky day to be in North Carolina,” said Alice Garland, executive director of the N.C. Education Lottery. “We look forward to meeting the jackpot winner, but the most important thing for the winner to do today is sign the back of the ticket and secure it in a safe place. This is a life-changing event. The lucky winner should take some time and get sound professional advice before coming in to get the big check.”
The winning tickets were 11, 13, 25, 39 and 54, and the Powerball number was 19.