Millions of people dream about winning the lottery. They want to make it big, win millions of dollars, and never have to work another day in their life. And that’s exactly what happened to Jack Whittaker. He thought he was the luckiest man in the world when he learned that the ticket he bought at his local West Virginian convenience store won him a jackpot worth over $314 million.
While Jack tried his best, he soon discovered that money does not buy happiness, regardless of how hard he tried. In spite of the millions of dollars that Jack had in his bank account, the experience had the opposite effect on him, and he soon began to feel like the unluckiest man on earth, regardless of the millions of dollars that he had in his bank account.
Who Is Jack Whittaker?
On October 9, 1947, Andrew Jackson Whittaker Jr. was born in the small town of Jumping Branch, in the state of West Virginia. He was the son of Andrew Jackson Whittaker Sr., and Andrew Jackson Whittaker Jr. was a descendent of him. Andrew Jackson Whittaker Jr was a self-made man who had financial success before he won one of the biggest Powerball lotteries in the United States as well as one of the biggest millionaires in history.
He met his lovely future wife in elementary school and the two married almost as soon as they graduated high school. Whittaker started his own construction company from the ground up soon after. He was also committed to his home church and the family he and his wife started. That is before everything started going downhill after his amazing Powerball win.
One of the Locals
A great deal of fame was given to Jack Whittaker because of his stylish appearance. Undoubtedly, he always dressed in a sleek country style, which led many to compare him to the one and only legendary country musician Johnny Cash. The cowboy hat was Jack's signature accessory and he wore it with every outfit he wore, even when dressing in all-black.
In fact, his style wasn’t much different than that of every other midwestern man at the time. Everyone in his home town knew who he was, and he was known for being a family man who owned the local construction company. Whittaker also drove a truck, lived in a modest home, and would frequently stop at his local deli for sandwiches.
A Typical Morning
Everyone around town knew Jack Whittaker for his easy-going personality. Jack was a frequent customer at his local C&L Super Serve in Hurricane, West Virginia, and the cashier there described him as, “polite and cheerful as if trouble were a stranger.” While he was well known around town for being so nice, he had no idea that he would soon be known for much more.
It was just a few days before Christmas in 2002 when Jack pulled up to the C&L Super Serve at his usual time: slightly before 6:30 a.m. The "Biscuit Lady," 39-year-old Brenda Higginbotham, noticed her favorite customer pulling up and immediately got started preparing his usual breakfast order for him. In her words, Jack always put a smile on her face and that made her feel happy.
Breakfast for Jack
Jack and Brenda were joking around like two old friends who had known each other for many years and had become good friends. In fact, they practically were, since Jack came into the restaurant at the same time every day to fill up his truck and to get breakfast for himself. It was never a problem for him to eat the same thing every day: two biscuits with bacon stuffed inside of them.
That order was so synonymous with Jack that even when Brenda wasn’t working, all the other employees knew exactly what to fix him when he came in! Sometimes, other employees would tease Jack and Brenda that they joked around so much that they had a “rendezvous deal” going on. Brenda would laugh it off and tell them, “it ain’t like that!”
Not a Lottery Player
That same trip to the C&L Super Serves a few days before Christmas in 2002 would end up being the farthest thing from Jack’s typical stop. In fact, it would change his life forever. Jack rarely played the lottery or bought lottery tickets. He would only try his hand if the jackpot was much more than $100,000. And when he did, he never had high hopes of winning.
In his own words, Jack stated that he only wanted to play the lottery if the jackpot was “worth his while.” If you’re wondering why several thousand wouldn’t be worth his while, it’s because his construction company had already earned him a net worth of over $17 million! So, it kind of makes sense that he wouldn’t feel the need to play the lottery until it grew larger than that.
Trying His Luck This Time
Whether you believe it or not, the sales of lottery tickets reached an all-time high on Christmas day of 2002. At around 3:26 p.m., stores were selling lottery tickets faster than they had ever done in the history of the store. In fact, the jackpot was so large that West Virginia residents were buying as many as they could in order to win it.
It averaged out to the amazing number of 15 people buying a lottery ticket per second! Some would only spend a couple of dollars in hopes of making it big. Even Jack didn’t think much of it when he laid out $100 for a bunch of lottery tickets. He got randomly selected numbers and waited to see how it would turn out.
It’s a Match
As the newscasters announced the Powerball numbers on Christmas evening at 11 p.m., it was expected that it would be a big win. It was already late in the evening, so Jack had already gone to bed. But his beloved and hopeful wife, Jewell, shook him awake to tell him what she just heard on Charleston’s Channel 3 news station.
Four out of five of Jack’s numbers had come up as a lottery match! At the time, they had no idea what four matches meant. They figured that he had just won at least $100,000, but that wasn’t enough to make Jack get out of bed. He waited until the next day and started his usual routine. Jack went to his construction job not even knowing that his life had changed.
In the morning, Jack woke up just like every other day and went to work at his construction job without realizing that his life had changed in the past few hours. As a poor 14-year-old boy in the foothills of West Virginia, he had been working for as long as he could remember because he had no choice but to do so.
In the end, Jack has created Diversified Enterprises Construction, one of the largest construction firms that exists today, but despite the fact that he had made quite a bit of money from it, he continues to work there every day. It was already estimated that he was worth $17 million before he bought lottery tickets, as he was the President of the Putnam County company at the time.
Checking the News
As Jack was preparing to leave home that morning, he turned on the TV to see the news at 5:15 in the morning just like he’s been doing all his adult life. In the news, he heard that the winning Powerball ticket had been sold at his favorite morning stop" the C&L Super Serve located near his house.
Jack knew that his ticket was a match, but what were the chances that they were talking about his being the winning Powerball? After all, only four of his numbers matched. And then, the winning numbers flashed across the screen. The numbers Jack had seen the night before were wrong. All five of the numbers on Jack’s lottery ticket were a match!
Collecting His Millions
That’s when it hit him. Jack Whittaker had won $314.9 million! He ended up deciding to take the lump sum which resulted in a one-time payout of $113,386,407.77 after taxes were taken out.
At the time, Jack said his life wouldn’t change. He planned on taking the money to survive comfortably alongside the rest of his family. He knew how he would spend his winnings and his granddaughter, Brandi Bragg, also knew how she wanted to spend the money, as well! Jack told reporters, “I just want to thank God for letting me pick the right numbers… or letting the machine pick the right numbers.”
First Thing’s First
The first thing Jack did after winning the lottery was go back to the C&L Super Serve where he tipped his favorite biscuit maker, Brenda. He gave her a crisp $100 bill. Brenda was too shocked by the generous tip to even realize that Jack had won the Powerball!
Brandi, his granddaughter, was just 15-years-old when Jack won the Powerball. When the family appeared on numerous broadcasts, she told one reporter that she wanted to use some of Jack’s Powerball money to buy a blue Mitsubishi Eclipse and meet the rapper, Nelly. Jack continued to try and spend his winnings philanthropically. At least, he did at first.
Paying It Forward
Brandi did eventually get her dream car. But not right away. One of the first few things Jack did after winning the lottery continued to pay it forward. After generously tipping Brenda, he thought he might as well go above and beyond. He then bought her a house since she was the one who served him the winning ticket.
At the time, Brenda was working for only $6 an hour at the C&L Super Serve. Jack bought her a house in a nice neighborhood worth $123,000. He also bought her a new Jeep Cherokee and gave her a $45,000 check. He told her it was because he wouldn’t have a dime of that money if it wasn’t for her selling him that winning ticket!
Giving Back to the Church
After winning the lottery, Jack had told reporters that he wanted to donate a lot of his winnings to his religious community since he and his wife were frequent churchgoers. He said that his religious community had helped him a lot throughout the years, so he wanted to give back to them. And he did just that.
He ended up pledging about 10% of his overall payout to his local churches. Mainly, those associated with the Church of God. Jack said, “I want to be a good example. I want to make people proud of what happens with this winning. I want to promote goodwill and help people.”
A Brand New Church
Jack’s donations really paid off for his church community. With his donations, they had enough money to build a new house of worship.
In fact, their new church in Hurricane, West Virginia, ended up being a multi-million-dollar facility. And they never had to worry about paying for repairs or upkeep again. Keep in mind, Jack pledged 10% of his winnings to his religious community and 10% comes up to about $13 million. So his church never had to worry about burning through that money shortly, even after building the new facility!
Starting His Own Charity
Next, Jack created the Jack Whittaker Foundation. He used $14 million to create a charity whose sole mission was to help those in need in rural West Virginia by providing clothes and meals to those in poverty.
Before COVID, rural West Virginia already had the 6th highest poverty rate in the United States. And back in 2002, 17.9% of West Virginia lived in poverty while the nation’s poverty line was only at 12.4%. So it was a much-needed charity in the area. Jack was really trying to pay it forward wherever he could.
Things Start Getting Out of Hand
However, things weren’t all sunshine and roses behind the scenes. Jack eventually began to spend his lottery winnings extremely fast. He even started to give his granddaughter, Brandi, a huge allowance. At 17-years-old, Brandi was getting $2,000 a week from her grandfather. On top of that, he bought her not just one, but four cars!
On 20/20, Jack said, “She can only drive one car at a time… I’m proud of the fact that she’s got four cars!” Unfortunately, he would soon learn that he overindulged his granddaughter and she ended up paying with the highest price of all.
Bad Decisions and Even Worse Changes
It also later became known that within just a few days of his big win, Jack started acting on his vices when he started showing up at his local strip club, The Pink Pony, with a large stack of cash. The club owners said they knew they were in trouble eventually when they realized that that stack of cash amounted to a whopping $50,000!
They said no one had ever come into their club with that much money before. And Jack wasn’t shy about showing off how much money he had. They worried about the consequences of those actions. Even worse, those close to Jack soon began to point out that his personality had begun to change. He had become more impulsive and authoritative.
Many people who knew Jack before he won the lottery said that they could tell he had started to change when he went from being your average guy to someone who expected to be treated a certain way because he had money.
Not only were his expectations unrealistically high, but he also took a large amount of cash money with him wherever he went which made him an easy target for robbery and other problems. Jack ended up learning this the hard way as people started coming out of nowhere looking for some kind of financial payout from him. He would actually give them money without thinking twice, but his troubles didn’t end there.
It Runs in the Family
While Jack seemed to dive headfirst into his vices after winning the lottery, his granddaughter, Brandi, did no better after receiving so much money from her grandfather. She was basically getting whatever she wanted.
Eventually, she started to use all that money on drugs and other addictive substances, which directly led to her downfall. Brandi would also go on a shopping spree after shopping spree, spoiling her friends, as well as her boyfriend, Jesse Tribble. Jesse’s father was uneasy about his son having a girlfriend who would spend that much money at the drop of a hat and he soon learned that his gut feeling was correct.
Trouble Left and Right
Remember about that stack of cash Jack took everywhere with him? Well, as we said, people would come out of nowhere to tell Jack their sob story about why they were wronged, why they needed money, and why they felt like Jack owed it to them.
Unfortunately, several of those people were just scammers trying to get the best of Jack. He was robbed several times. And he would always find himself in the middle of some kind of trouble when he visited the racetrack, which he liked to do often. But that didn’t stop Jack from carrying on with his new normal life.
One time, robbers broke into Jack’s truck and were lucky enough to walk away with a briefcase filled with $545,000 that Jack had left in the passenger seat! That’s how much money he would go around with regularly. Another time, a dancer-manger and general manager who were romantically involved and worked at the strip club Jack frequented had a plan to drug him and take all his money!
There was also another time that Jack lost $200,000 to people who took advantage of him! But he never stopped carrying around all that money. When asked why he continued to do so, Jack simply said, “because I can.”
Things Start to Hit the Fan
Meanwhile, Brandi was becoming more and more dependent on drugs. All of the money her grandfather was giving her was going to substances like oxycodone, methadone, and cocaine, which she was also supplying to others including her boyfriend Jesse. Jack tried to help his granddaughter. He checked her into three different rehab facilities, but nothing seemed to stick for Brandi.
Jesse was also struggling with addiction, as well. He and Brandi broke up briefly and he went back to live with his family for a short period of time, but the two quickly got back together. However, it wasn’t much longer before Brandi found him face down on a mattress. He had overdosed from a combination of cocaine, oxycodone, meperidine, and methadone.
Addiction Claims His Granddaughter
Brandi took Jesse’s death pretty hard and began to spiral. And even though her grandfather tried to help her, she told him it was no use. She said, “You really can’t help me. I don’t want help; I just want to keep on taking drugs. That’s all I want.” Those words hurt Jack and he blamed his Powerball win on Brandi’s addiction and everything that happened next.
Soon after Jesse’s death, Brandi disappeared. She dropped out of high school right before she was about to graduate and stopped calling her grandfather who she used to talk to every day. Brandi was reported missing to authorities and 11 days later, she was found dead, wrapped in a plastic tarp, and dumped behind a van. Her cause of death was listed as undetermined, but she had a copious amount of drugs in her system. However, her death remains slightly a mystery as she was found on a friend’s property, though no one was ever charged.
More and More Bad News
Jack’s wife Jewell, whom he had known since elementary school, was not happy with what winning the lottery had done to her husband and her family. She even frequently said she wished she had ripped that ticket up.
Instead of watching him spiral further, Jewell filed for divorce in 2005 after over 42 years of marriage. Unfortunately, the bad news doesn’t end there. A few years after Brandi’s death, her mother, Jack and Jewell’s daughter, Ginger Whittaker-Bragg, died when she was 42-years-old after a long battle with cancer.
In The End
If you thought things couldn’t get worse for Jack, think again. After he remarried, his new wife was at one of Jack’s new homes in Bland County, Virginia, when it burst into flames! Thankfully, she got out safely. But the house was declared a total loss the next day. And to make matters worse, the house was not insured.
Jack Whittaker died on June 27, 2020, at the age of 72 from natural causes. After years of issues following his lottery win including robberies, scammers, alcohol, divorces, death, and more, he had nearly gone broke by the time of his death. The story of his life almost reads like a cautionary tale that warns children that money doesn’t, in fact, buy happiness.
Jack told the Associated Press in 2007, “I’m only going to be remembered as the lunatic who won the lottery. I’m not proud of that. I wanted to be remembered as someone who helped a lot of people.”
When This Lady Won the Lottery, Her Luck Seemed to Turn Into Trouble
If you had one wish what would it be? Probably, a good number of people would choose to win the lottery. With all that money it sure would be great to buy a new house, drive a fancy car or own a private jet.
The stars lined up in 2015 for Marie Holmes, a poor single mother, who won the North Carolina Powerball lottery that was worth a cool $188 million dollars. However, after a series of events that cost Holmes a lot both financially and emotionally, she may have wished that she never won the lottery in the first place.
Nobody Deserved to Win the Lottery More Than Marie
At the time, Holmes was a 26-year-old single mother who worked two jobs to support her four children. It was difficult to work both at McDonald’s and Walmart, but she did whatever it took to take care of her children.
Shortly before Holmes hit the jackpot, she had to leave both jobs as one of her children was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Caring for four children is tough for any couple, especially if one of them has a debilitating disability, but for a single mother, the pressure was nearly unbearable. All she wished for was to take care of her children, and now she wasn’t able to hold on to her jobs to provide for them.
One Lucky Day Her Wish Came True
In February 2015, the North Carolina Powerball jackpot was at $564 million dollars, so she got herself a ticket for a few dollars at the local gas station. Not long after she got back to her trailer home, she found out that she held the winning ticket.
When asked how she felt after winning, Holmes said, “I thought I was going to have a heart attack when I saw the ticket and checked it”. Because two other people also had winning tickets, Holmes only won a third of the jackpot.
Not So Fast
What is the most you have ever won on a lottery ticket? Fifty dollars? A hundred dollars? Because the vast majority of lottery wins are nothing life-changing, the lottery commission authorizes the places that sell lottery tickets to pay winnings of up to $599 dollars. All big winners, such as Marie Holmes who had just won $188 million, need to go through a long process to claim their winnings.
Lottery winners need to fill out paperwork to verify the magic ticket, then there is a waiting period for the funds to be dispersed, and lastly, winners need to decide whether they want the money in a lump sum or to receive it in installments over thirty years. Despite the lump sum being less, according to experts, it makes financial sense to take the whole lump sum provided and invest it, because with interest it would be more profitable over a thirty period than what the lottery commission offers.
Here Comes Uncle Sam
Since Holmes decided to take the lump sum, she received $127 million instead of $188. Still, from nothing to $127 million isn’t too bad, even though it is a $51 million dollar difference. Little did Holmes know that the deductions didn’t end there.
Lottery winnings are taxed as if they were income, both on the federal and state level. On lump sums, the State of North Carolina takes 5.8% and the Federal Government takes a minimum of 25%. Sometimes, they can take up to 39.6% if the winnings qualify for the highest tax bracket. Depending on how Ms. Holmes was taxed, she may have had to pay up to $50 million dollars on her winnings.
Holmes pledged to donate money to her church, move out of their trailer to a proper house, and set up college funds for her children. Holmes told NBC news station after winning, “All the struggle that I ever went through, it was all for them. I want them to understand that money doesn’t change you, but it can help you.”
Holmes was described as a person who understood the value of a dollar according to her friends and family. After all, she was a single mother who worked two jobs at McDonald's and Walmart to support her four children. Nobody thought that she would take it for granted but the person who everyone believed deserved it the most soon would be the one everyone turns on.
Winners of the lottery need financial counselors much more than already established multi-millionaires who already know how to invest money wisely. With that much money, it seems impossible to ever blow it, but as many financial experts will say that; if it is not properly invested then even this mind-boggling amount of money can disappear in the blink of an eye.
Holmes understandably had to do things that benefited herself and her children’s standard of life. But there were some very dubious decisions that she made that made her go down the wrong road.
The frivolous spending began when she bought her boyfriend, LaMar McDow, a $15,000 diamond-laced Rolex. What seems like a penny in a bucket to the amount she won was actually the tip of the iceberg of what her boyfriend ended up taking from her. McDow only had a hundred dollars in his bank account when he was arrested in 2014, and now he had a girlfriend that had the ability to bail him out no matter the cost.
Denying the allegation that Holmes spent $21 million on his bails, McDow said, ‘’So many people are going on that she has paid $21 million to get me out of jail, but that ain’t true. It is just 10 percent."
A New House
McDow used to live with Holmes and her four children in her trailer before being sent to jail in 2014. When he was released from jail, McDow moved into the $350,000 home that Holmes bought after winning the lottery, according to a report by the Daily Mail.
The report also shed light on how much money Holmes actually received from the lump sum that she decided to take. After taxes, she received $88 million, which is a far fetch from the original $188 million dollars that she won. Again, for someone that comes from rags to riches, $88 million is still a mind-boggling amount of money, but Holmes would soon learn that a loss of $100 million dollars makes a big difference.
Can I Borrow Some Money?
What happened next happens is unsurprising. After Holmes became famous for her lottery winnings, friends, family, and many others were calling her for handouts. After all, what’s $10,000 for a good friend or a new home for an aunt that bought your favorite toy in preschool?
The couple was constantly beleaguered for their money, even though their friends and family were coming to her with good intentions. It got to the point that every time McDow fielded a call, Holmes would say to him “when money comes there are more problems’’. How right she was.
After the big jackpot win, Holmes and her boyfriend who were persons of color moved out of their trailer home into a very expensive home in an affluent white neighborhood. Sadly, racial prejudice is still alive and well in the world, and the couple was constantly harassed by their neighbors both subtly, and not so subtly.
“One neighbor set up a camera to record everything we were doing. If I was driving down the road and going at the speed limit, they would wave at me for going too fast. They did not want us there. They were prejudiced,” McDow told the Daily Mail.
Tithe to The Church
The Pleasant Hill Missionary Baptist Church was Holmes’s sanctuary ever since she was a kid. She took the church's teachings to heart and tried to exemplify them in her day-to-day life. To display her gratitude to God and the church, Holmes pledged 10%, also known as a ‘tithe’, of her winnings to charity.
Perhaps if Holmes was able to claim her winnings anonymously, and kept a secret of her charitable donations, then no one would have been able to take advantage of her good heart. Unlike other states, all big lottery winners' names are published for the public record in North Carolina by law.
Getting the Ball Rolling
Ten percent of $88 million dollars is a lot of cash, and even the noblest institutions could use that staggering amount of money for unnecessary things. Still, Pleasant Hill Missionary Baptist Church was a strong pillar in her life, and according to a press release, “The first thing she promised was to tithe – or give a tenth of her winnings to charity.”
To get things started, she donated $700,000 to the church that she and her family had gone to for years. The church used the money for long-overdue needed repairs.
Pastor With an Agenda
A pastor named Kevin Mathews, who was not affiliated with Pleasant Hill Missionary Baptist Church, started to get involved with Holmes and her family. Even though they did not know him before they won the lottery, the pastor claimed that ''God led him to them''. They believed him, and invited him to their home for ministerial services and to help McDow make better life decisions.
Pastor Mathews felt comfortable enough to ask Holmes for $1.5 million to help him build a retreat. The pastor says that even though the agreement was never put in writing, Holmes did agree verbally to give him the money. Rather than wait, Pastor Mathews went on to build the retreat with his own money.
Pastor With a Lawsuit
Pastor Mathews came out publicly with the intention to sue Holmes for $10 million dollars. Where he got that figure from remains a mystery considering the resort cost only $1.5 million. It’s clear though that he was trying to get a large portion of the 10% of Holmes's winnings that was promised to her church and to various other charities.
Considering nothing was put in writing, Kevin Mathews didn’t have much of a case. Brazenly, Mathews claimed, “Because of the emotional distress and mental stress, they put me through, I had to start taking more medicine for anxiety and depression due to this situation”.
When the story hit the headlines, the public was outraged at the nerve of the greedy pastor who was going after a noble church-going woman. People called out the fraudster for what he was, and even a YouTuber published a series of videos titled F*** You Kevin Matthews.
in most probability, any sane lawyer wouldn’t take up the case because there was no written contract between Holmes and Pastor Mathews. Dubiously, the pastor refused to give his lawyer's name to a reporter because the ‘’motion hasn’t been completed." Sadly, it seems that the greedy pastor just wanted to vilify Holmes.
Skeletons in The Closet
What came out next in the news headlines was much more devastating to Holmes and her four children. Somehow, it was discovered that her ex-convict boyfriend was cheating on her. Reports kept creeping in that Holmes chose to pay off McDow's mistresses instead of kicking him to the curb.
A video went viral on Facebook where an unnamed woman claimed that not only was McDow cheating on Holmes but was also taking money from her to pay for ‘sexual favors’ from other women.
It takes an incredible person whether rich or poor to pick themselves up when misfortune falls. Despite all the wealth and the negative headlines, Holmes found the strength to not give up. The lottery winner turned to an inspirational woman to help her take control of her life again.
With her life spiraling out of control, Holmes made an appearance on the Iyanla: Fix My Life talk show. The show can be found on the Oprah Network which features relationship expert, Iyanla Vanzant, a well-known author, motivational speaker, and life coach.
The Real Hot Sauce
LaMar McDow is known as 'Hot Sauce' by his fellow gang members and was bailed out three times by Holmes. McDow was Holmes’s boyfriend before she won the big dollars, and was in jail at the time for drug charges. Right after Holmes won, she bailed out her boyfriend to the tune of a three-million-dollar bond. Hot Sauce took advantage of her kindness right away by using her money for his own self-gratification.
Not even a year passed and he was arrested again that July. Once again, her kind heart bailed out the gang member for a six-million-dollar bond. Instead of changing his behavior, McDow continued to cheat on Holmes and use her money for his exploits. Instead of learning from his mistakes, Hot Sauce was arrested for the third time. The three-time convict was not happy that his girlfriend was being bashed in the newspapers for posting his bail three times. McDow told the Daily Mail, “We are a couple, and I am the father of her youngest child. This is what people do for each other. She has the money and she can do what she wants with it.”
Boyfriend Takes Down Girlfriend
It seemed inevitable that Holmes would face serious trouble as long as she stayed with McDow. That day came when McDow was arrested for violating his mandated curfew. When the police came in, they found marijuana in the house, and also charged Holmes for possession. Sadly, this all took place in front of her children.
Marijuana use has become very common in the United States, but the legalization of recreational marijuana is only offered in ten states, and the use of medical marijuana is allowed in thirty states. Unfortunately for Holmes, any forms of use are prohibited in North Carolina.
In the middle of taping Iyanla: Fix My Life, two more bad things made headlines. After her mother confessed to what happened with the numbers on the lottery ticket, relatives and friends started to accuse Ms. Holmes of stealing the ticket from her mother. It did not matter to them that Fontella said on the show that she gave it willingly.
Ms. Holmes also found out during the taping of the show that her boyfriend was heading back to jail to serve a seven-year sentence for possession and distribution of heroin. Ever since the day her lucky numbers were called so many bad things had befallen her. Most people would break, but not Ms. Holmes.
A Promise Fulfilled
Despite questionable decisions on her part, Ms. Holmes still kept her integrity. She fulfilled her promise of giving 10% of her winnings to various charities which equated to $9.7 million dollars. Part of the tithed money was used to set up a charitable foundation in North Carolina called The Marie Holmes Foundation.
The foundation is mirrored after her life’s experiences before winning the lottery. As a single mother who worked two very low-wage jobs, it was very difficult for Holmes to provide for her four children, especially with the medical bills for the child that has cerebral palsy. The Marie Holmes Foundation provides for underprivileged children and struggling families. The charity often holds large events where school supplies and toys for the holiday season are given out.
Isn't She a Christian?
Holmes is a devout Catholic which could make it strange to some that she even bought a ticket because the Christian church frowns upon gambling. But it’s hypocritical to believe so according to one pastor who told the Christian Post, “You can’t be against the lottery, but your youth department is doing a RAFFLE! Same thing pastor. SAME THING!”
“You can’t be against the lottery and you have a prize of $500 for whoever brings the most people on family and friends day,’’ he said. It seems that Holmes is a decent person who found it difficult to manage her large winnings. Most people would probably have the same problem. In the end, we hope that Holmes has finally learned how to make the most of her lump sum.