A 70-year-old New Jersey mother and her seven grown children pooled $6 and bought a lottery ticket in Trenton, N.J. That ticket hit the Powerball for $429.6 million.
Valerie, Marcia, Steven, Jacqueline, Tracy, Kathy, Renee and their mother, Pearlie, revealed themselves as the eight winners of the Powerball jackpot on Thursday, according to Lawrenceville Patch.
Oldest sibling Valerie Arthur, a retired administrator from the New Jersey Department of Corrections, spoke for the family during a Friday press conference.
Arthur said that her mother, Pearlie Smith, a pastor at a Trenton church, said that the winning numbers were “divine intervention” and came to her in a dream. She noted that none of the numbers were birthdays or anniversaries, and although her mother rarely gambles, the matriarch, who bought the ticket, felt “compelled to listen to the intuition.”
The family says that it will use the money to pay off student loans and their mortgages. They also plan to tithe 10 percent and give some to charity.
One of their siblings, Kathy, plans to use some of her winnings to help mentor young women. She had been struggling to get financing for her program dedicated to just that.
“Now she has her own funding where she can help these young women at-risk,” Arthur said. “She can go and change lives on her own accord.”
USA Today reports that the family took a few days to announce themselves because they had their family lawyer secure financial advisers to help them manage the huge influx of funds.
The ticket win was the seventh-largest Powerball jackpot in history. The family chose a cash payout of $284 million, according to lottery officials.