Powerball Winners: New Jersey Mom, Her Seven Kids Claim $429.6 Million Prize

A retired New Jersey mother and her seven children came forward this week to claim the $429.6 million Powerball Jackpot prize.

According to family spokesperson, Valeria Arthur, the daughter of Powerball-winning mom Pearlie Mae Smith, the family did indeed buy the winning ticket for the largest single jackpot in New Jersey powerball history.

According to Carole Hedinger, the New Jersey Lottery executive director, the Powerball winners bought their ticket at a 7-Eleven in Trenton on May 3 at 5:20 p.m. and chose a cash payout valued at $284 million.

Hedinger said the Smith family picked their own numbers.

The powerball winnner’s spokesperson said they were able to pick the winning numbers through “divine intervention.”

Arthur concurred with that statement.

“That’s the only way you can explain that.”

Arthur said the family did not use regularly played numbers, birthdays, or anniversary dates in choosing the winning numbers, which were 5-25-26-44-66 with a Powerball number of 9.

The family spent a total of $6 on the tickets, according to Hedinger.

“They spent $6 to win $284 million. That’s a pretty good investment.”

Arthur said they are not “avid players” and only play when the Powerball jackpot goes over a “certain amount.” Arthur has been retired for one year after working as a prison administrator for 27 years.

Arthur said winning the jackpot was an “affirmation” that will make dreams come true.

“We each have dreams we want to achieve in this life.”

Arthur said one of her sisters dreams of creating a mentoring program for young women, but has struggled to get funding. She said she believes winning the lottery will only change her “for the better.”

“Now, she has her own funding… and can help young women at risk. She can go and change lives on her own accord.”

Arthur said the family will split the jackpot evenly eight ways and decided to take the lump sum based on their ages.

“I’m way past 20 [years old].”

The powerball winners told USA Today it took them a few days to announce themselves before the public because they wanted to ensure their safety and handle the money correctly by having their family lawyer secure advisers to help them decide how best to handle such a large influx of cash, according to Arthur.

“After you pay off your student loans, after you pay off the mortgages on your house, and after you buy your kids a car or whatever, what are you going to do with the remaining $283 million?”

The Smith family was not the only powerball winner from that ticket sold in New Jersey. Andrea Shin, the 10-year owner of the Trenton 7-Eleven store that sold the winning ticket, was presented with a $30,000 check on Monday.

She told ABC News she was “excited” for the winners.

The $429.6 million jackpot is the sixth-largest jackpot in Powerball history, lottery officials said.

Powerball is played in 44 states, plus Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The jackpot won by the Smith family was the largest for any U.S. lottery since January, when three Powerball tickets split a record $1.6 billion.

As previously reported by the Inquisitr, three winning tickets were drawn for that big cash out. The winners purchased their tickets in Tennessee, Florida, and California.

While many dream of one day winning the lottery, the odds of choosing the correct Powerball numbers are one in 292 million.

According to statistics experts, each of us is roughly 25 times more likely to become the next president of the United States than to become Powerball winners.

[Image via The Associated Press]