UK & World News

  • 26 March 2013, 10:06

Powerball: NJ Man Claims $338m Jackpot

A 44-year-old father-of-five, originally from the Dominican Republic, has come forward to claim the $338m Powerball lottery jackpot.

Reporters and camera crews were at the New Jersey liquor store where the ticket was sold when a beaming Pedro Quezada made his appearance on Monday.

The state lottery has not officially identified him as the lucky winner, but they did confirm the jackpot ticket was sold and validated at the store in Passaic.

The owner showed off a copy of the validated claim he said belonged to Mr Quezada.

He is in line for a lump sum payout of $221m, ($145m) or about $152m (100m) after taxes.

It is the fourth-largest jackpot in Powerball history.

Pedro Quezada told reporters that his first priority will be helping his family.

His wife, Ines Sanchez, told the Bergen Record that her husband called her with the news on Monday afternoon.

"I still can't believe it," she said. "We never expected it but thank God."

The family's apartment is in Passaic, part of the working-class suburbs sprawling from New York City.

They own a small grocery store nearby.

Neighbours spoke with pride that one of their own had struck it rich.

"This is super for all of us on this block," Eladia Vazquez said. "They deserve it because they are hardworking people."

Fellow Dominican immigrant Jose Gonzalez said he was happy for Mr Quezada.

"He sometimes would work from six in the morning to 11 at night, so I did not see him much," he added.

The newspaper reported the Quezada family had suffered bad luck in recent years, including a burglary at their apartment and a fire at their business.

No one had won the Powerball jackpot since early February.

The largest Powerball jackpot ever came in at $587.5m (385.7m) in November.

The winning numbers were picked on two different tickets - one by a couple in Missouri and the other by an Arizona man - and the jackpot was split.

Nebraska still holds the record for the largest Powerball jackpot won on a single ticket - $365m (239m) - by eight workers at a Lincoln meatpacking plant in February 2006.

Powerball is played in 42 states, Washington DC, and the US Virgin Islands.

The chance of matching all five numbers and the Powerball number is about 1 in 175 million.