LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. — A family of eight has come forward to claim one of the biggest lottery prizes in history.
The $429 million Powerball jackpot was won by the Smith family of Trenton, New Jersey. Mom bought two tickets for $6 at a 7-Eleven in Trenton. She selected the winning numbers for the May 7 drawing after someone in the family had a dream about the winning numbers.
"A divine intervention gave us the numbers,” said Valerie Arthur, the eldest of the 7 siblings. "That's the only way you can explain that.”
None of the newly minted millionaires plan to quit their jobs but they do plan to take a big family trip before deciding what to do with the rest of the money, which comes to a total of $284 million after taxes and fees.
During a news conference Friday in which they claimed the prize, the family said one thing is for sure: they do not plan to spend the money on flashy cars or clothes, instead their focus will be on family and their community.
"It was like an affirmation from God because we each have dreams that we want to fulfill in this life and do for our community, and do for each other, and our families, and it was like, well we have been funded to do that,” Arthur said.
Arthur said she retired a year ago, after working for 27 years in a state prison. Another of the Smith siblings is an educator who plans to spend her share of the prize on helping underprivileged young women.
“Friday the 13th is now a blessed day,” Arthur said. “Anything can happen in Jersey.”
The current Powerball prize is $50 million and the next winning numbers will be announced on May 14. The odds of winning are 1 in 292.2 million.