Iowa woman claims half of Powerball jackpot — $344M

DES MOINES (UPI) — An Iowa woman stepped forward Monday to claim her half of October’s Powerball jackpot worth nearly $700 million.

The ticket owned by Leryanne West of Redfield, Iowa, is worth $343.9 million in 20 annuity payments, or $198.1 million in a lump sum. She shares the prize with a person, so far unidentified, who bought the other winning ticket in New York City.

West purchased the ticket at a Redfield general store, near her recently-purchased home. She said she misplaced the ticket for several days, and realized she had won the prize after her sister found the ticket on the floor of her pickup truck.

“I told my sister to get in her truck and get that ticket and get up here right now! And, drive slow,” West said at the Powerball ceremony in Clive, Iowa, where she was introduced as the winner. She added that she felt satisfaction when she drove down Redfield’s main street and saw media camera crews setting up positions.

West is establishing a charitable organization, the Callum Foundation, which will be the conduit for much of her winnings. Its grants will focus on poverty and hunger issues, education, animal welfare and veteran’s issues in Iowa. The foundation’s website notes that West has three daughters and worked in factories and businesses while pursuing a human resources degree at Upper Iowa University.

Casey’s General Store, where West bought the ticket, will receive a $10,000 prize from the Iowa Lottery.

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