Most Deserving Powerball Winner Ever? Struggling Single Mother of Four Gets Winning Ticket
By John Boone
We never thought we would say this, but: We’re happy that Marie Holmes is a millionaire now and we still are not.
The 26-year-old single mother of four has one of three winning tickets for the recent $564.1 million Powerball jackpot, meaning she’ll take home somewhere between $100 and $188 million, depending on whether she takes a lump sum or annual payments. (You always choose the lump sum.)
And Marie is a particularly worthy winner: She currently lives in North Carolina with her three daughters and one son, one of which has cerebral palsy, and recently had to quit her jobs at McDonald’s and Wamart to take care of them. She tells WECT 6 she bought the ticket from her uncle at a local convenience story.
“I thought I was going to have a heart attack,” Marie says of her reaction when she found out she won. “I scared my kids. I was telling them that we didn’t have to struggle no more and I was yelling when I did it. They ran and said I scared them."
In the interview, Marie alternates between smiling and tearing up and still seems very much in shock. “I guess when it hits my account, that’s when it will really hit me,” she explains. "I'm ready for it. I'm ready to embrace the change. I'm very grateful for what's about to happen for my family."
Marie says first, she’ll donate some of the winnings to her church. The rest will go towards buying the family a new house and setting up college funds for her kids. She’ll also help take care of her dad and granddad.
“This is all for them, “ she says. “All the struggle that I ever went though, it was all for them. I want them to understand that money doesn’t change you, but it can help you. They don’t have to worry about debt. They can go to college, all on me. They don’t have to worry about nothing.”
Speaking of money, watch ET’s special investigation into piracy in the music industry and find out how many millions are lost each year: