Man wins $338M US lottery jackpot

The Dominican immigrant who won one of the largest lottery jackpots in US history said Tuesday he felt “pure joy” at winning, but his mind wasn’t yet clear enough to know what he’ll do with the money.

By (AP)

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Published: Wed 27 Mar 2013, 12:51 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 4:12 PM

Pedro Quezada appeared at New Jersey lottery headquarters to officially claim the $338 million Powerball prize. The former shop owner from a working-class suburb of New York City has been in the US for 26 years.

If Quezada takes a lump-sum payment, it would be worth $221 million, or about $152 million after taxes. It’s the fourth-largest jackpot in Powerball history.

Casiano Quezada smiles while talking to members of the media inside Apple Deli Grocery on Tuesday, March 26, 2013, in Passaic, N.J. Quezada is the son of Pedro Quezada, 44, who won the $338 million Powerball jackpot after purchasing the winning ticket at Eagle Liquors store in Passaic. - AP

“I know he’s going to do something good with the money,” Quezada’s son, Casiano, said Tuesday from behind the counter of the family store, the Apple Deli Grocery. Maybe his father will open another store, he said.

Neighbors told The Record newspaper that the Quezada family has suffered bad luck in recent years. Two years ago, thieves broke into their apartment and stole everything from clothing to jewelry. The year before, a fire destroyed much of their store, they said.

“It’s a blessing,” Casiano said of the win. “It’s something that happened, and you just have to take it as it is.”

Casiano said he is proud of his father and still in disbelief that he won.

Pedro Quezada showed up late Monday at the liquor store where he purchased the ticket to have it validated.

Lottery officials scheduled a news conference Tuesday afternoon to formally declare him the winner.

The family moved to the U.S. in the 1980s from the Dominican city of Jarabacoa, Casiano Quezada said.

Pedro Quezada’s neighbors saw a lot of themselves in the winner: hardworking, a family man, an immigrant, and someone who has known hard times.

The neighbors were thrilled that one of their own finally struck it rich.

“This is super for all of us on this block,” said Eladia Vazquez, who has lived across the street from Quezada’s building for the past 25 years. Quezada and his family “deserve it because they are hardworking people.”

Fellow Dominican immigrant Jose Gonzalez said he barbecues and plays dominoes with Quezada in the summers in a backyard on their street.

“He sometimes would work from six in the morning to 11 at night, so I did not see him much,” Gonzalez said Monday night. “I am happy for him. ... I don’t know where he is now, but I imagine he will drop by to say hi to his friends.”

Powerball is played in 42 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The chance of matching all five numbers and the Powerball number is about 1 in 175 million.



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