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$336 million Powerball: 81-year-old wins massive jackpot

March 06, 2012|By Rene Lynch
  • Louise White, 81, won the $336 million Powerball jackpot. She is shown with Gerald Aubin, left, director of the state's lottery, and Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee
Louise White, 81, won the $336 million Powerball jackpot. She is shown with… (Associated Press / Stew…)

Retirement is looking a whole lot sweeter for Louise White, 81, of Rhode Island: She stepped forward Tuesday to claim her $336.4 million Powerball lottery jackpot.

White, who kept the ticket safe and sound in a family Bible before turning it in, opted to take the whole lump sum at once. After taxes, she will walk away with $210 million.

"I'm very happy and I'm very proud," White said during a news conference covered by the Providence Journal and other media. "It will make my family very happy, and we are truly blessed."

White, who is described as her family's matriarch, is playing this one close to the vest. She has declined to say precisely how she will spend the money, although she says it's being deposited in her so-called rainbow sherbet trust, named after the sweet treat she purchased alongside her Powerball tickets.

White also did not discuss the time lag between winning the ticket on Feb. 11 and coming forward Tuesday. She asked the media to release a first-person statement she write about her experience, titled "Winning the Lottery -- Louise White's Story"

In it, she describes her shock at watching the Feb. 11 drawing on TV and realizing she had the winning numbers.

"So I said 'Let's check the computer' ... and the numbers were still the same," she said. "We still didn't believe it, so we turned off the computer and turned it back on and went back to the website, and my numbers were still there."

The winning ticket marks the single largest prize in Rhode Island lottery history.


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