DES MOINES, Iowa (CBS Local) — A single mom who won $343.9 million in a recent Powerball drawing is already sharing some of her newfound wealth.
Lerynne West, 51, of Redfield, Iowa, announced Wednesday that she’ll donate $500,000 to the Travis Mills Foundation, a central Maine-based organization that supports wounded veterans through long-term programs and activities.
West said her dad was a Vietnam veteran and her three brothers served in the military.
“It’s very important to me that we never forget the sacrifices soldiers and their family members make for our country,” West said on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”
The donation comes from The Callum Foundation, which West established in memory of her grandchild who survived one day after he was born. The foundation will provide grants to organizations dealing with poverty and hunger, education, animal welfare and veteran affairs.
West, a single mother of three and grandmother of six, just purchased her first home. She bought her winning ticket during a break from unpacking to get a slice of pizza at Casey’s convenience store.
West’s ticket and a ticket purchased by Robert Bailey, 67, in Harlem, New York, split the $687 million Powerball jackpot in the October 27 drawing.
West opted to take home $198.1 million in a lump sum, minus what’s taken out in taxes. Her other option was a $343.9 million annuity that would be disbursed over 29 years.