LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. (WTXF) -- A woman and her seven adult children stepped forward Friday to claim a $429.6 million Powerball jackpot and said they have plans to tithe to their church, go on a family vacation and help their community.
But mostly they're just still letting it sink in.
"I said stop April fooling me and get off of my phone and she said I'm not. It's May. It's May," said Valerie Arthur, joking about the phone call she got from one of her sisters and her mother, telling her the family had won New Jersey’s largest single ticket jackpot for 429.6 million dollars.
"She said it's true. We won the Powerball and I haven't slept since then," said Valerie.
All seven siblings pooled their money along with their mother Pearlie who went out and bought what turned out to be the winning ticket. No lucky numbers or dates and they’re not regular players.
"Divine intervention gave us the numbers. That's the only way you can explain that and the way it was chosen," said Valerie speaking for the family during a news conference Friday afternoon. The Smiths say they’re a family of service not luxury. The money will be spent on family, others in need and their church.
"It was like an affirmation from God because we each have dreams that we want to fulfill in life and do for our communities and do for our families. We have been funded to do that." Valerie say one of her sisters plans to further a program she started that’s dedicated to mentoring young girls.
"She has been doing that for the last 15 years and it has been a struggle to get funding. Now she has funding to help these young women at risk."
As for Pearlie who raised 7 children and is now a millionaire, she has one thing to say.
"Wow. That's what it's like. Wow," laughed Pearlie.