The winner of a $338 million Powerball jackpot told several media outlets Monday that his first priority will be helping his family.
Pedro Quezada, 44, entered Eagle Liquors store, where the ticket was sold, late Monday afternoon. The Passaic store owner ran Quezada’s ticket through the lottery machine to validate that it was a winner as a newspaper and television outlets recorded the moment.
The New Jersey Lottery confirmed that the winning ticket was validated at the store at 4:30 p.m. Monday, but officials said they didn’t yet know the winner’s name.
Quezada, an immigrant from the Dominican Republic, told reporters in Spanish that he was “very happy” and that he intends to help his family.
His wife, Ines Sanchez, told the Bergen Record that Quezada called her with the news Monday afternoon.
“I still can’t believe it,” she said. “We never expected it, but thank God.”
The numbers drawn Saturday were 17, 29, 31, 52, 53 and Powerball 31. A lump-sum payout would be $221 million, or about $152 million after taxes. It’s the fourth-largest jackpot in Powerball history.
The family’s apartment sits at the end of a short, dead-end block that abuts a highway in Passaic, 15 miles northwest of New York City. Neighbors stood out in the rain Monday night and spoke with pride that one of their own had struck it rich.
No one had won the Powerball jackpot since early February, when Dave Honeywell in Virginia bought the winning ticket and elected a cash lump sum for his $217 million jackpot.
The largest Powerball jackpot ever came in at $587.5 million in November. The winning numbers were picked on two different tickets — one by a couple in Missouri and the other by an Arizona man — and the jackpot was split.