Iowa Grandmother Wins Half of $688 Million Powerball Prize

Central Iowa Woman claims $343.9 million dollar jackpot

She shares the prize with a person, so far unidentified, who bought the other winning ticket in New York City.

When a friend texted the day after the drawing to ask if she had won, West said she hadn't had a chance to check.

The win was a shock for the single mum from Iowa, US, who struggled to persuade her three daughters and other relatives that it was for real.

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. After entering the correct date, she learned she had matched every number - including the Powerball. Her father was a welder and her mother a stay-at-home mom to West and her seven siblings.

Casey's General Store, where West bought the ticket, will receive a $10,000 prize from the Iowa Lottery. The $344 million ticket was purchased at a gas station in Redfield last month and the victor says she won't let the life changing amount of money change her. "I've played the lottery twice a week when I had the money to do it".

"Nobody believed me", West said after turning in her winning ticket to lottery officials in Des Moines. "And, drive slow", West said in an Iowa Lottery press release.

West said the first thing she is going to buy for herself is a new vehicle.

Lerynne West, called her sister to check her auto for the ticket, which was found on the vehicle floor. Halting briefly to hold back tears, Ms West said the foundation was named after a grandson born prematurely in April who lived only one day.

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The New York victor purchased their ticket at a bodega in West Harlem.

After hearing someone from Iowa had won half of a almost $700 million Powerball jackpot, Lerynne West couldn't find the ticket she'd bought the day before so asked her sister to check.

She went to find her tickets - which she thought were in her purse - and didn't find them. Then, she realized she put in the numbers for the wrong date.

The single mum will set up a foundation for people to seek financial help.

"Once you have won, you realize the responsibility and the impact you can make, and all the frivolity goes out the window", West explained.

West and the buyer of a ticket at a Manhattan deli overcame odds of 292.2 million to one to win the Powerball.

"You know, when we were dreaming about it I would get all frivolous and I would have a whole lineup of cars that I was going to buy". "Currently I drive a Ford Fiesta that people have just beat up when I'm not in it", she said. "It's got 142,000 miles on it and I'm going to get a vehicle big enough that I can take all my grandkids places in", West said.

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