Lerynne West was an Iowa citizen and single mother of three, who won the Powerball jackpot when she was 51. The prize pool was shared between two winners who had the same combination: 8, 12, 13, 19, 27 and the Powerball number 4. 

West bought the winning ticket days after fulfilling her life dream: buying a house. She went with her sister to a gas station to get some food and on their way, they both bought a lottery ticket. Lerynne did not choose the numbers, it was a quick pick, because she said that if she was meant to win the lottery, she just wanted to “let it happen”.

Days after, a friend jokingly asked her if she had won the lottery, and when she went home to check it out, she did not find the ticket! Since she was moving in, the whole house was messy and the ticket was nowhere to be found. Luckily, it ended up being in her sister’s truck!

The jackpot was $687.8 million, to split between the two winners. When Lerynne had to choose between receiving yearly annuities or a lump sum payment, she chose the second one, getting $198.1 million after taxes.

Lerynne West: the charitable millionaire grandma from Iowa

After knowing she had won, Lerynne West did what everyone expects a lottery winner to do: quit her job! She had been working in an insurance company only for a month, but she had worked since she was 14.

Lerynne West, the millionaire who almost lost her winning ticket!

With the money she started the Callum Foundation, named after her grandson who was a premature baby and died within the first 24 hours. “I have a responsibility to do good for other people”, she said. The foundation has the purpose of helping people and creating communities in order to allow them to have a decent life. 

Lerynne also had a family with a long line of members who served in the military, including her father who was a Vietnam vet, therefore she donated $500,000 to the Travis Mills Foundation, which helps veterans and their families. 

No doubt the story of Lerynne West is very touching and we hope to have the next Lerynne between you. TuLotero wishes you the best of luck!


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