On Wednesday, November 14th, the Powerball offices announced Lerynne West as one of two winners of the massive $687.8 million jackpot. Taking home half the prize, i.e. $343.9 million, this mother of three and grandmother of six grandchildren found a worthy cause to spend her fortune – the poor, the unfortunate, and the war veterans and their families.
Lerynne West, an Iowa native, had two options when claiming the prize – to take the lump sum, amounting to $198.1 million or the annuity plan over the course of 29 years. She opted for the former payment format and has immediately gone on to make good use of her fortune.
West on Her $500,000 Donation
In a public appearance on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show”, her financial plan was already in place and presented before the audience. She used the opportunity to announce her half-a-million donation to the Travis Mills Foundation, an organization that helps veterans and their families throughout the medical and emotional healing and revitalization process. Regarding the reason behind her donation, West stated:
“It’s very important to me that we never forget the sacrifices soldiers and their family members make for our country.”
Her family background is reason more for such a move – Lerynne’s father was a Vietnam veteran, while her brothers have also served military duty. Hence, she is quite aware of the effects of such a profession on the institution of family as a whole.
The Callum Foundation
Lerynne created her own organization, The Callum Foundation, named after one of her grandchildren, who only lived a day after being prematurely born at 24 weeks of development. This foundation is much like The Travis Mills’, with a defined goal to help the battle against poverty, educational opportunities, animal welfare, and the social group of veterans.
The Power of Powerball
Evidently so, the Powerball jackpot has once again affirmed its power to change lives, as Lerynne West claimed while retelling the story of the day she got the ticket. She had just bought her first home and was doing some unpacking when she decided to take a break and get a slice of pizza, along with a random lottery ticket at a gas station in Redfield, Iowa.
Despite the unexpectedness of the event, Lerynne West seems quite prepared to handle her finances for the good of all, as this statement made by her for the CNBC reports:
“I want you to know that as I stand here today I know the responsibility that I have to do good with this money.”
West on The Ellen DeGeneres Show
In an episode of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show“, West shared her story of the day she found out she was the Powerball winner.