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26-year-old mother of four says she has winning Powerball ticket

A 26-year-old woman has come forward as the winner of North Carolina’s $188 million Powerball jackpot ticket that was sold at a Scotchman convenience store in the coastal town of Shallotte.

A reporter with NBC-affiliate WECT who spoke with Marie Holmes of Shallotte confirmed the numbers and date on her ticket match those that were drawn for the $188 million payout.

Holmes said she had to quit her jobs at Walmart and McDonald’s to care for her four children, one of whom has cerebral palsy, the station reported.

She told WECT that the first thing she’s going to do with the money is tithe, because “I wouldn’t have none of it if it wasn’t for God.”

Holmes also plans to set up college funds for her children and buy a new house after deciding where to move, the station reported.

N.C. Education Lottery officials said they were contacted Friday by an attorney representing the winner and were informed that no immediate claim of the prize is planned, according to the Associated Press.

“We won’t know who has the winning ticket until it is brought to lottery headquarters,” Alice Garland, executive director of the N.C. Education Lottery, told the Associated Press. “We hope anyone who has the great luck to win a prize like this will seek sound professional advice before making a claim.

“A win like this is truly life-changing, and we should expect the person who is going through this to take the time to make the best decisions they can,” Garland said. “We look forward to meeting the winner.”

If her winning ticket is confirmed, Holmes will receive a third of the jackpot along with winners in Texas and Puerto Rico. Winners have 180 days to claim their prize.

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