The $310.5 million Powerball winner, Julie Leach, didn’t waste any time quitting her job. Michigan Live reports that Sarah Mercer, a co-worker of Leach’s and the human resources representative from Aquatic Co., shared in the experience of the lottery winner’s last day at work in Three Rivers.
Mercer said that Leach had been working at the fiberglass manufacturer for over 20 years. She began as what they refer to as a “roller” and up to a supervisory position from there. The human resources rep said that she’s done an “excellent job” for the company and that everyone is “very happy for her.”
Upon learning that she was the $310.5 million Powerball winner very early Thursday morning, Leach immediately quit her job.
Fiberglass Factory Employee Wins $310.5 Million Powerball: Julie Leach, 50, was working an overnight shift at… http://t.co/fzGXlGvwHd
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Mercer talked about the last time Leach punched her time card.
“She punched out for the last time on Thursday morning at 1:20 a.m. She did come back on Friday and cleaned out a few personal things. She did come in yesterday morning (Monday) and talked to me officially about an exit interview and different things. And she promised that she would stop by once in a while to say hi.”
Leach had purchased $20 in additional Powerball tickets when the office pooled their money together for the big drawing. It was later in the day when Julie Leach bought her own ticket — the winning ticket. The 50-year-old found out she had the winning numbers when she was sitting in a long line at the McDonald’s drive-thru on her lunch break. The woman describes having a “bad night” during her third shift when she was checking her numbers. Things changed fast after that.
Numbers in the winning drawing were 21-39-40-55-59, with the Powerball number of 17. There’s been a lot of “distraction” at the workplace since Leach won the lottery, Mercer said.
“There’s been a lot of distraction here with the buzzing and the people talking. But everybody is just real happy for her.”
Julie Leach purchased her ticket at the Three Rivers-West Shell station. Joanna Bailey, the assistant manager of the store, says that more people have been purchasing tickets at the store. She said “it’s been crazy,” but things are “starting to slow back down. Leach had been a regular customer at the Shell station. Bailey comments that Leach is a “working-class person. It’s good that it happened to her.”
Another regular customer of the Shell station knows Leach and her boyfriend of 36 years, Vaughn Avery. The unidentified man said they’re both very hard-working people “and very deserving” of this huge fortune. Leach reportedly has two children with Avery, as well as a stepchild. They have 11 grandchildren.
See how Julie Leach learns she won $310.5 million from Powerball lottery http://t.co/Fhx93MerqX pic.twitter.com/aGzZxeb7uR
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Julie Leach plans to take care of all of their needs and make sure they never have to work as hard as she’s had to in life.
“All I know is I’m going to take care of my kids. I don’t want them to work like I had to work. I want them to be taken care of.”
Leach said for years she and her family have sat around campfires and talked about what they’d do if they won the lottery. They would buy a lot of land, build houses on the property, and kind of create their own community. That’s still the plan, Leach says.
ABC News reports that Leach opted for the lump sum payout of $197.4 million, which will amount to $140 million after taxes.
Julie Leach had told the Associated Press that she had a “nasty, dirty job” at the factory manufacturing facility. She’s still in “disbelief” that she’s a Powerball winner. She never married her boyfriend because she watched so many of her friends end up in divorce. She now jokes that if Avery were to propose to her, that he’d have to sign a prenup.
[Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images]