Marie Holmes screamed after the winning powerball numbers – her numbers – were drawn last Wednesday night. Overjoyed, the 26-year-old mother immediately ran to tell her four children.

The family had just won $188 million.

“I thought I was going to have a heart attack when I saw the ticket and checked it,” Holmes told a WECT reporter.

Holmes quit her jobs at Walmart and McDonalds to care for her children, one of whom has cerebral palsy. Ever since, the young mother has struggled to provide for the family.

“I’ve been struggling since I had them but I wouldn’t trade nothing because they’re a blessing,” Holmes said. “I don’t have to worry about the word struggle no more or neither do they…. I’m ready to embrace the change. I’m very grateful for what’s about to happen for my family.”

After consulting her lawyer and financial advisor, Holmes decided to relocate her family, buy a new house, start college funds for her children, and give back to her church.

“I wouldn’t have none of it if it wasn’t for God,” Holmes said.

The powerball ticket is worth $188 million annuity paid over 30 years, or a $127 million lump sum payment before federal and state taxes are withheld – the largest lottery win in North Carolina’s history.

“I’m thankful that I can bless my kids with something that I didn’t have,” Holmes said.


When not writing, Sierra can be found conducting experiments in the chemistry lab or whipping up delectable creations in her kitchen. With a passion for storytelling, Sierra puts her natural curiosity to use investigating enlightening angles for news and events here at The Oregon Optimist.