MORRISTOWN, N.J. — A Morristown, New Jersey, school board member has come forward as the winner of the March 13 $211.7 million Powerball jackpot, the third largest single-ticket lottery payout in New Jersey.
Sandra McNeil is a middle-aged mother, said her attorney, Perry A. Pittenger of Scotch Plains. She was employed before the Powerball win, but has since taken a leave of absence from her job.
She has been serving part time as a member of the Morris School District school board for four years.
McNeil, whose main occupation was not disclosed, chose the cash option when she purchased her ticket, meaning she will receive about $101.6 million before federal and state withholding taxes are taken out.
"I give God all the glory for this blessing that He has given to me," McNeil said in a statement released by the New Jersey Lottery Commission. "He has seen and knows the highs and lows of my life, and knows the good I have done, and the good I hope I can continue to accomplish in His name."
The payout for a single lottery ticket is only surpassed by a $258 million win by Harold and Helen Lerner of Rutherford in 2005 and a $216 million jackpot won by a group of 10 Chubb employes in 2009.
McNeill bought her winning ticket at Gene's II Deli in Morris Plains, a popular lottery vendor on Speedwell Avenue. The jackpot had been growing since Feb. 10, and McNeil's win marked the first time a jackpot-winning Powerball ticket had been purchased in New Jersey since the state started offering the game on Jan. 31.
McNeil's win also marks the first time one state has ever sold the only winning ticket for both a Powerball jackpot and a Mega Millions jackpot, said Dominick DeMarco, a spokesman for the New Jersey Lottery Commission.
McNeil, who issued her statement through her attorney, said she planned to use her winnings to make sure her children were comfortable and could continue their education. Pittenger said McNeil waited the month after winning to consult with her lawyer, financial planner and accountant, as well as members of her family.
Although McNeil said she appreciated the attention of the Powerball win, she said she hoped to live her life quietly.
"I was a private person before God blessed me so generously, and that is how I wish to remain," she said.
Thanks to petergrfn for the tip.