A single grandmother from Iowa has come forward to claim her share of the nearly $700 million Powerball jackpot from last month.
Lottery officials introduced Lerynne West, of Redfield, to the world on Monday less than two weeks after her winning numbers were drawn.
She’ll be sharing the $688 million prize with a Big Apple resident, who has yet to come forward.
The New York winner purchased their ticket at a bodega in West Harlem. West bought hers at a Casey’s General Store in central Iowa. The 51-year-old has opted to receive the lump sum option — giving her $198.1 million before taxes.
“Nobody believed me,” West said after turning in her winning ticket to lottery officials in Des Moines. “They thought I was crazy.”
According to experts, the odds of winning the Powerball for the Oct. 27 drawing were 292.2 million to one.
“I played the lottery twice a week, when I had the money to do it,” West said.
She had always dreamed of hitting it big, but never took the thought seriously.
“Once you have won, you realize the responsibility and the impact you can make, and all the frivolity goes out the window,” West explained.
The health insurance worker plans to use the cash on her three daughters and six grandchildren, and is currently working to set up an organization for grieving parents, dubbed the Callum Foundation. West said she named the organization after one of her grandsons, who lived just one day after being born prematurely.
“All proceeds to the Callum Foundation will support sharing Callum’s story and purpose with other grieving parents,” a description reads on Indiegogo. “Our hope is to allow Callum’s life and impact to far outlive his short time with us.”
West, who has been working since she was a teenager — even spending her high school days in the local corn and soybean fields — said she’ll definitely use a portion of her winnings on some much-needed R&R.
“Currently, I’m retired,” she said. “I’m excited to share my winnings with family and friends, plan to purchase a new car, and look forward to a long vacation — or several.”
With Post wires