Powerball Winner Lerynne West
We all sometimes misplace the things we need the most – our car keys, cell phones, wallets, you name it. In the case of Powerball winner Lerynne West, she’d misplaced something most of us will never have the opportunity to misplace: her winning lottery ticket. Fortunately, it didn’t take long for her to find it, and her life immediately changed forever as a result.
The Lost Tickets & Winning Numbers
After purchasing her lottery tickets, West practically forgot all about them. After all, October 26th, 2018—the day before the drawing—was a busy day for her. She and her sister were in the process of moving Lerynne into her new home and had only stopped at Casey’s General Store in Redfield, Iowa, to grab some coffee and pizza. Playing the lottery was also routine for her; in fact, she played the lottery weekly when she could afford it and had never won more than $150. Who would have thought this would be the winning ticket?
The next day, a friend of West’s let her know that there was a winning Iowa ticket. When she checked her purse to see if hers was the winner, it was nowhere to be found—she had lost the lottery ticket! Luckily, West’s sister found it in her truck and sent her the numbers, which revealed that Lerynne had hit the jackpot. Her story is very similar to EuroMillions winner Andrew Clark—whose winning ticket his girlfriend also found in his trunk.
How Much Did Lerynne West Win?
When West checked her numbers against the official numbers that were drawn, she found out she’d won half of the $687 million Powerball jackpot. After choosing the cash payout, West took home $198.1 million (excluding taxes) and had major plans for her money, including taking care of her family and making a positive impact on her community—something fellow selfless Powerball winner Roy Cockrum also committed to doing.
How Did Lerynne West Spend Her Winnings?
When Lerynnne West won the lottery at age 51, her first thought was that she must use her newfound wealth to help others. With three daughters, six grandchildren, and seven siblings, she was no doubt a family-oriented and selfless person. Even when considering buying a new car, West’s mind was still on her family—which car would be perfect to fit all of her grandchildren in? Her selflessness and love shined through the insanity of winning millions of dollars.
West also created the Callum Foundation, a non-profit grant-based foundation that provides funds to aid in issues of poverty, hunger, child welfare, animal welfare, and more. The foundation was named in honour of her late grandson, further demonstrating West’s commitment to her loved ones. Likewise, the winner appeared on the TV show Ellen to donate $500,000 to the Travis Mills Foundation, a group that aids wounded veterans and their families. You can check out the clip below:
Lerynne West, an Iowa native, spent most of her life being a hard-working and caring individual. She recalls taking on lengthy hours detasseling corn during her childhood, which allowed her to make enough money to contribute to her household as well as purchase items she wanted for herself. As she grew older, West became even more of a family woman; in fact, she was a single mother to her three daughters and worked full-time while attending school to create better lives for all of them. Just before she won the lottery in October of 2018, she had purchased her first home in Redfield—a major milestone in her life—and started a new job with a health insurance agency.
Lerynne West Donation Scam
As is the case with many big lottery winners after their big win, it didn’t take long for scammers to try to take advantage of Lerynne’s good fortune. Lottery scams are common and predatory; in fact, scammers go as far as creating fake social media profiles to convince readers that the winner is sharing his or her winnings. Unfortunately, these kinds of scams abound, something that Powerball winner Mavis Wanczyk, Mega Millions winner Shane Missler, and EuroMillions winners Steve and Lenka Thomson could definitely attest to.
In instances like this, it is important to protect your personal information—name, address, bank account information, and so forth—to ensure you don’t fall victim to the scams. And if you ever have any doubts about whether or not a lottery winner is giving away money to complete strangers, rest assured they are not!
There’s no doubt that it is a dream for many of us to win the lottery. The story of lottery winner Lerynne West should inspire us to keep dreaming—not because the same will necessarily become our reality, but because it gives us a reason to keep trying. As West stated in an interview, “If I was meant to win it, I was meant to win it,” a philosophy that she carried with her each time she played the lottery. If we all follow the same lesson, we just may learn to cherish our good luck more often.