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Single mom wins $198 million on Powerball, donates very large sum to disabled vets

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An Iowa woman, who hit it big in a Powerball drawing, made a big donation to a veterans group during Wednesday's "Ellen DeGeneres Show." (Image source: YouTube screenshot)

Lerynne West of Iowa won a lump-sum prize of nearly $200 million in a recent $700 million Powerball drawing, so she decided to do some good with her money.

West donated $500,000 to the Travis Mills Foundation, a Maine-based organization that helps disabled veterans acclimate to life after becoming disabled.

Veterans who have been injured as a result of their service are eligible to receive an all-inclusive, all-expense paid family retreat to the foundation's resort in Maine, where they can participate in "adaptive activities, bond with other veteran families, and enjoy much-needed rest and relaxation in Maine's outdoors."

What are the details?

West made the announcement of her donation during Wednesday's "Ellen DeGeneres Show." She said that she believes it's important that people "never forget the sacrifices our soldiers and families make for our country."

West, who retired from Welmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield after the win, also created The Callum Foundation in honor of her grandson. The foundation is "focused on providing grants to organizations in central Iowa and beyond," according to the organization's website.

West won a share of the Oct. 27 Powerball lottery after purchasing her ticket in Redfield, Iowa. She initially left the ticket on the floor of her sister's pickup truck. But her sister sent a photo of the ticket to West, and after checking the numbers online, she discovered that she was a winner.

The Iowa woman was one of two winners — New York City resident Robert Bailey purchased the other winning ticket.

Each of the two tickets won a $343.9 million annuity, or a $198.1 million lump-sum option.

What else?

West, who chose the lump-sum option, promised to do good with her winnings after she turned in her ticket to lottery officials for validation.

"I've never been lucky before," West told DeGeneres. "The luckiest we got is my brother won a cake walk in 1976."

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