BREAKING NEWS Search underway for man who escaped from Freeborn County Jail Full Story
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Powerball winner donates half a million dollars to veterans group

Article Image

It's the gift that keeps on giving.A woman who won nearly $350 million with a Powerball ticket has de...

Posted: Nov 16, 2018 7:35 AM

It's the gift that keeps on giving.

A woman who won nearly $350 million with a Powerball ticket has decided to give back to charitable organizations, including half a million dollars to a veterans group.

Lerynne West, 51, of Redfield, Iowa, told Ellen DeGeneres that she used some of the money to found The Callum Foundation, a non-profit organization.

It will provide grants to areas including "poverty and hunger, education, animal welfare, and veteran affairs," according to the foundation website.

The Callum Foundation is a special dedication to her late grandson, who she lost when he was "one day old," she explained on the show.

On "The Ellen Show," West debuted The Callum Foundation's first donation: $500,000 committed to the Travis Mill Foundation, a rehabilitation center to support veterans and their families.

Veteran affairs has always been important to West because she comes from a military family. Her father served in Vietnam, she said, and her brothers also served in the military.

The foundation has not yet narrowed down a shortlist for any other organizations that it will support, a representative for the organization told CNN.

West won the money in the October 27 drawing. The single mother of three had just bought her first home, took a break from unpacking to get a slice of pizza at Casey's convenience store and purchased a lottery ticket.

West didn't pick the number herself, and didn't immediately realize she was one of the two Powerball winners.

She thought she put the lottery ticket in her purse, but she accidentally left it on the floor of her sister's truck. It lay there for a couple days.

When a friend texted the day after the drawing to ask if she had won, West said she hadn't had a chance to check. She rifled through her purse and realized she didn't have the ticket. She quickly called her sister, who found it and told West she had won.

"I always thought if I was meant to win it, I was going to win it no matter how many tickets I buy," she told Ellen.

Article Comments

Mason City
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 54°
Albert Lea
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 61°
Austin
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 61°
Charles City
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 55°
Rochester
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 57°
Tracking sunny skies all this week
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Saint Ansgar defeats North Butler

Image

Central Springs vs. Alta-Aurelia

Image

A hidden gem in the Med City

Image

Albert Lea chooses a new city manager

Image

Deadly force task force

Image

Getting animals ready for the fair

Image

Mohawk Square: may take a year for repairs

Image

Mohawk square update

Image

More stores coming to Southbridge Mall

Image

More businesses coming to Southbridge

Community Events