81-year-old woman claims $336.4M Powerball prize
Louise White, right, 81 from Newport, R.I., is presented a check for $336 million by Gerald Aubin, left, director of the state's lottery, and Gov. Lincoln Chafee, center, at Rhode Island Lottery headquarters in Cranston, R.I., March 6, 2012. / AP Photo/Stew Milne
(CBS/AP) CRANSTON, R.I. - An 81-year-old woman from Newport won last month's $336.4 million Powerball jackpot, sleeping with the winning ticket in her Bible until coming forward to claim the sixth-largest U.S. prize on Tuesday, a family representative said.
"I wanted to say that I am very happy and I'm very proud and this will make my family very happy. We are truly blessed, thank you," Louise White said at a news conference, as reported by CBS affiliate WPRI Providence.
Her attorneys said she was a regular lottery player who bought the winning ticket at a Stop & Shop supermarket in Newport where she had stopped for rainbow sherbet. The ticket is being claimed in the name of the Rainbow Sherbet Trust.
"Later that evening I was at home listening to the news while the family enjoyed the rainbow sherbert," White recalled in a written statement, as reported by Providence Journal. "I heard the drawing and roughly wrote down the numbers as they called them out, but missed some so I waited until they said again in 10 minutes and wrote the all down. I didn't immediately took my ticket."
White added that she later checked her ticket and discovered she got the numbers correct, and then went on the Web to confirm they were the same.
"We still didn't believe it, so we turned off the computer and turned it back on and went back to the Web site and my numbers were still there.
"We hugged each other and jumped up and down screaming!! Then I was told to 'Sign it quick!!'"
White said she kept the winning ticket in a Bible after she realized she won.
The winning ticket was among three tickets with random numbers purchased on a $9 wager, officials said.
The winning numbers from the Feb. 11 drawing were 1-10-37-52-57 and the Powerball was 11. The lump sum payment would be $210 million, the highest ever for Powerball, officials said. The jackpot was the third largest in Powerball history and the largest ever won in Rhode Island, officials said.
The top lottery jackpot in U.S. history was a $390 million Mega Millions prize won in March 2007.
The Powerball jackpot win is the first since the ticket price increased from $1 to $2 in January. Rising sales nearly doubled the jackpot from $173.5 million on Feb. 1.
There is no bonus for the supermarket for selling the winning ticket, officials said. Instead of paying out a bonus, Powerball retailers in Rhode Island get eight cents on the dollar for every ticket sold.
The win means Rhode Island gets a little more than $12 million in taxes on the prize, officials said last month.
Powerball is played in 42 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The chance of matching all five numbers and the Powerball number is about 1 in 175 million.
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