Iowa woman claims her share of $688 million Powerball jackpot

Central Iowa Woman claims $343.9 million dollar jackpot

Iowa grandmother revealed as Powerball winner

West couldn't find her ticket but then remembered it might be in her sister's truck.

When a friend texted the day after the drawing to ask if she had won, West said she hadn't had a chance to check. "They thought I was insane".

West's ticket split the Powerball jackpot in the October 27 drawing with a ticket purchased in New York City.

Ms West, 51, said she dreamed of winning a jackpot, but "once you have won, you realize the responsibility and the impact you can make, and all the frivolity goes out the window". She quickly called her sister, who found it.

The Iowa Lottery held the conference at its Clive headquarters, where Lerynne West explained what led up to her buying the ticket and how she found out she was a victor.

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She says she wants to buy a new vehicle and help out family and friends.

West opted to take the prize money in a lump sum which equates to roughly $198 million with taxes taken out. The $344 million ticket was purchased at a gas station in Redfield last month and the victor says she won't let the life changing amount of money change her. Her sister sent her a picture of the ticket and when West checked her numbers on the lottery website, she realized she'd won.

West, who retired from Welmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield after the win, says she plans to buy a new auto for herself and take vacations.

"When I was fourteen, I started detassling and walking beans so that I could earn money to buy my school clothes and to help with the family", West said.

Ms West said she grew up in a "very humble family" with seven siblings in Iowa and knows what it's like to struggle financially.

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She said she'll give some to her daughters and other relatives, ensure her six grandchildren can have college educations, and set up the Callum Foundation, where people in need can seek financial help. She got a general-equivalency diploma in 1986 and an Upper Iowa University degree in human resources in 2006.

Ms West also plans to buy a new house and replace her "beaten up" Ford Fiesta.

The drawing came only four day after someone won a US$1.54 billion ($2.14 billion) Mega Millions jackpot, the second-largest lottery prize ever.

West raised her three daughters as a single mother, working in the insurance industry. She would play the lottery twice a week when she could afford it. West overcame odds of 292.2 million to one to win.

"Friday, October 26 ... was kind of special for me because I had bought my first home", West said, adding, "I was moving that day".

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