The winner of the $429 million Powerball jackpot––the sixth-largest in the game’s history––is a New Jersey woman and her family, who said the winning numbers came to her in a dream.
Pearlie Mae Smith is the mother of the seven children who all joined to buy the ticket. Smith lives in the state’s capital, Trenton, and is a church pastor. The family waited more than a week to come forward, and in a news conference Friday, one of Smiths’ daughters, Valerie Marie Arthur, said her mother bought the ticket after a dream revealed to her the winning numbers.
The New York Times reported:
Ms. Arthur said the family did not play the lottery regularly, buying tickets only when the jackpot reached a sizable payout. She said the family members had pooled their money and left the buying of the ticket to Ms. Smith, who described being inspired by “divine intervention” to pick the winning numbers: 5, 25, 26, 44 and 66. The red Powerball number was 9 and the multiplier number was 2.
“It was like 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 for our families and we have been funded to do that,” said Ms. Arthur, who retired last year as a prison administrator.
Before the family came forward, they said they consulted past winners and lawyers. The family said they’d pool the money, and some will keep their jobs. One daughter said she’d use her winnings to fund a program she’s run for 15 years that mentors young women. All the family said they plan on “tithing 10 percent of their winnings to God.”