Iowa woman finds forgotten $343.9 million Powerball ticket thanks to friend’s text

Iowa single mother identified as one of two Powerball winners decides to take $198 million cash option

West, who retired from Welmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield after the win, said she plans to buy a new vehicle for herself and take vacations.

A single mother who won nearly $275 million in Powerball reveals the moment she discovered her winning ticket was lost after the jackpot was drawn.

West, a single mother of three daughters has played the lottery twice a week, when she could afford the tickets.

West opted for the cash option, which will pay her an immediate $198.1 million, minus taxes.

'I told my sister to get in her truck and get that ticket and get up here right now!

It's the largest lottery prize ever won by an Iowan. She worked in corn and soybean fields as a teenager, didn't graduate from high school but took night classes to get a college degree in human resources in 2006. 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.

The Iowa Lottery held the conference at its Clive headquarters, where Lerynne West explained what led up to her buying the ticket and how she found out she was a victor.

"(I saw) 'Jackpot.' I thought 'I've done something wrong, ' West said.

Lerynne West, 51, bought her tickets at Casey's General Store in the small town of Redfield, Iowa, while grabbing pizza and coffee with her sister.

When she couldn't find her ticket after the drawing, and discovered a victor was bought in Iowa, she called her sister, who found it and sent a photo.

That ticket was sold in SC and hasn't been claimed.

She went to find her tickets - which she thought were in her purse - and didn't find them.

West initially couldn't believe her eyes, thinking she had won no money at all. "Well, nothing showed up in red because I had the wrong date in there".

West says that is a place of humble beginnings.

West said that once it is fully established, the Callum Foundation will begin accepting requests for help in 2019. "He was born at 24 weeks and he lived for one day", she said.

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

According to experts, the odds of winning the Powerball for the October 27 drawing were 292.2 million to one.

"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".

She plans to buy a new house and replace her auto, a Ford Fiesta with 142,000 miles (228,500 kilometres) "that people have beat up".

"Currently, I drive a Ford Fiesta that people have just beat up".

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