The latest big Powerball winner has something he can do with his $211 million — catch up on child support.
This week Pedro Quezada of New Jersey took home the fourth-largest jackpot in the history of the multi-state Powerball lottery, winning a $338 million grand prize and opting to take a one-time lump sum payment of $211 million. That alone is the third-largest cash prize ever awarded.
But Quezada didn’t have too much time to bask in his victory. Just one day after the prize was announced, sheriff’s deputies showed up at the Powerball winner’s door to collect the child support he had been behind on.
Deputies said they hadn’t been able to reach the Powerball winner to get the child support he owed, a whopping $29,000. When he won and his name was suddenly public, the deputies could finally track him down.
The Powerball winner missed child support payments dating back to 2009, authorities said. An immigrant from the Dominican Republic, Quezada owns a small convenience store, though it’s up for sale now that he won the lottery.
In speaking to reporters this week, Quezada alluded to hardships in his life but didn’t get into specifics. In 2009 there was a fire at the bodega he operated, and the same year Quezada had a foreclosure on a property he bought three years earlier.
Quezada had a big family to support — five children ages five to 23, and one granddaughter. When he won the big prize, Quezada said the first thing he would do was help out the family.
“My family is a very humble family and we are going to help each other out,” he said, adding, “My life has changed. It will not change my heart.”
The Powerball might not have much of a choice in helping out his family, however.
“Because of Mr. Quezada’s large winnings, generally the New Jersey Division of Lottery would satisfy the judgment before all the winnings are released,” Passaic County Sheriff Richrad Berdnik said. “Like everyone else, until this warrant is satisfied, Mr. Quezada is subject to potential arrest.”
The sheriff added that he’s trying to get the Powerball winner to pay the child support as quickly as possible.