NC Woman Who Won the Nation’s Heart When She Won Huge Jackpot Keeps Losing

Stephen A. Crockett Jr.
Marie Holmes is shown holding a $188 million check—her share of the $564 million Powerball jackpot—in February 2015. Things haven’t gone so smoothly for the single mother of four since then.
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In February a 26-year-old unemployed North Carolina mother of four won the Powerball lottery jackpot totaling $564 million. Marie Holmes was one of three winners who agreed to a lump-sum payment of $188 million. After taxes and fees, she walked away with a cool $88 million—and, some have argued, into a series of problems.

Since winning the huge jackpot, Holmes has been charged with possession of marijuana and has reportedly spent a huge chunk of money on bail for her fiance, who lives with her and her children in Shallotte.


According to WWAY-TV, Lamarr McDow was arrested in November 2014 after a yearlong investigation concluded that he was reportedly a main player in a three-member drug-trafficking operation. He was charged with several crimes, including "trafficking heroin and possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver heroin."

Back in February, Holmes' story pulled at the nation's heartstrings. Shortly after she won the huge jackpot, she talked about how hard her life had been up to that point as a single mother trying to raise four children—Brayden, Charisma, Andrea and Ebony, ranging in age from 9 months to 7 years—one of whom suffers from cerebral palsy. She talked about how hard it was for her to find work and how the money would help make life easier for her family.


McDow was in prison when Holmes won the huge windfall, and in March, just weeks after Holmes received her payout, she reportedly used a portion of it to cover McDow's $3 million bond.

While out on bail, McDow was given a strict set of guidelines to follow, one of which included a curfew. On July 23 he was arrested at the home he shares with Holmes for "allegedly violating the curfew requirements of his pretrial release," according to the news station.

While at the home, police also charged Holmes and two other men—Danell Lamont McNeil, 31, and Damarius Dontrell Simmons, 21—with simple possession of marijuana, the news station notes.


McDow's bond for the July 23 arrest was set at $6 million, and according to WWAY-TV, he has been bailed out. The bail bondsman refused to say who paid his bond, but the news station believes that a response on its Facebook page shortly after the story was posted there may provide some clues.

"What Y'all need to be worried about is Y'all money and not how I spend mine this is benefitting Y’all how?" read a comment posted from Holmes' Facebook account, according to WWAY-TV.


"And no he's no drug dealer or user but who are Y'all to judge anybody? I will definitely pray for Y'all because it's much need…they talked about Jesus so I’m not surprised Y'all are talking about me but be blessed though."

Read more at WWAY-TV.

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