Marie Holmes, Powerball winner of $188 million from last February, isn’t bailing her fiancé out of jail this time. Instead, the 27-year-old single mother from North Carolina is donating $680,000 to her family’s church.
Holmes has been in the news for paying millions of dollars from her jackpot money to bail Lamarr “Hot Sauce” McDow out of jail all year. She’s taken a lot of criticism for her actions, but is now putting some of it towards charity.
According to WNCN, Holmes has given nearly $700,000 to Pleasant Hill Missionary Baptist Church in Shallotte. She attended the church as a little girl and her aunt says five generations of the family have been members of the congregation. The donation will fund “long-overdue repairs and renovations to the church and its equipment,” according to the report.
Pleasant Hill Missionary Baptist Church is a 130-year-old church located in Brunswick County halfway between Shallotte and Ocean Isle. It’s a predominantly African-American church that has 400 members, 135 of which are regular attendees.
In another report by WWAY-TV 3, it was learned that the lottery winner formed the Marie Holmes Foundation with an “initial investment of $9.7 million for the benefit of charitable organizations large and small.”
Marie Holmes said when she first won the Powerball lottery that she intended to tithe 10 percent of her winnings towards charitable causes.
Holmes has four young children, with one of them diagnosed with cerebral palsy. She worked two jobs before winning big in the Powerball lottery. She also won hearts with her story. When word got out she was willing to pay up to $9 million to get her fiancé out of jail, she took a lot of heat from the public. As Inquisitr wrote in another report, Holmes posted a message on her Facebook page, firing back at critics.
She wrote, “What Y’all need to be worried about is Y’all money and not how I spend mine this is benefiting Y’all how? And no he’s no drug dealer or user but who are Y’all to judge anybody? I will definitely pray for Y’all because it’s much need … they talked about Jesus so I’m not surprised Y’all are talking about me but be blessed though.”
Among several charges McDow has been charged with are trafficking heroin and possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver heroin, WWAY-TV 3 reported.
Holmes forked out $3 million in bail money in March and $6 million in July.
Altogether, McDow was arrested three times in 2015. He was arrested last year after police watched him for trafficking heroin. Since then he’s been in trouble with the law several times. All the while, Marie Holmes stands by his side.
In July, McDow was arrested for violating his pre-trial release agreement. When officials arrived to arrest him, they smelled a strong odor of marijuana in the home. When deputies went back to the home later with search warrants, they found marijuana, drug paraphernalia, and a.45 caliber pistol in his possession.
Carmel Wheaton, Holme’s aunt and executive director of her niece’s foundation, said people may have doubted her intentions with winning the Powerball lottery, but she’s sticking to her promise.
North Carolina Lottery Winner Marie Holmes Donates 800K To Church https://t.co/wArXw7goaR
— Brian Gorman (@bgorman357) December 2, 2015
“This was an easy decision for Marie,” Wheaton said. “People may have doubted that Marie would adhere to her promise about tithing. Marie has a very good legal and financial team advising her to be careful with the winnings but she has also been very adamant about the tithing. She said, ‘This is my money, I want it set aside.’ She is not looking for anything in return.”
Many are pleased to see someone like Marie Holmes do a lot of good with her huge fortune.
[Photo by North Carolina Education Lottery/AP Images]