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NC's biggest lottery winner, who faced drug charges soon after win, gives nearly $700k to church

After the Big WinAfter the Big Win: NC's biggest lottery winner, who faced drug charges soon after win, gives nearly $700k to church

SHALLOTTE, NC — A North Carolina lottery winner — who was arrested on drug charges just months after she won $188 million earlier this year — has given her church nearly $700,000, an attorney says.

Marie Holmes, age 26, a single mother of four young children, snagged North Carolina's biggest lottery jackpot in March — and took a lump sum payment of $127 million from the Powerball win.

"The first thing she promised was to tithe — or give a tenth of her winnings to charity," a press release from Ruth Sheehan with the Francis Law Firm said.

But, in late July, Holmes was arrested at her home in Brunswick County on drug charges. Also earlier this year, Holmes also spent a large sum on a $3 million bond for her jailed fiance, who was arrested before her lottery win.

Meanwhile, the fiance, Lamarr Andre McDow, age 31, — also known as "Hot Sauce" — was arrested in October for the third time in 11 months.

Holmes has spent $9 million bailing out Hot Sauce in the past year. (See NC lottery winner spent $9M bailing out convict fiancé, Lottery Post, Aug. 15, 2015.)

Still, on Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, Holmes sent a personal check for $680,000 to "her home church," Pleasant Hill Missionary Baptist Church in Shallotte, Sheehan said.

The gift will pay for long-overdue repairs and renovations to the church and its equipment.

Back in July, during Holmes' arrest, three other arrests were also made when police came to Holmes' house on Boverie Street in Shallotte.

The Brunswick County Sheriff's Office said that on July 23 deputies went to the home of the lottery winner to arrest her fiance, McDow, for violating the terms of his pre-trial release agreement.

While at the house, officials smelled a strong odor of marijuana in the home, deputies said. Deputies returned to the home later with search warrants and they said they found marijuana, drug paraphernalia and a .45 caliber pistol.

McDow was arrested just last month under a charge of possession of a firearm by a felon.

A Brunswick County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman said that McDow surrendered to authorities after being indicted on the charge.

McDow was arrested last November on heroin charges and held under $3 million bond. Prosecutors say Marie Holmes, who is engaged to McDow, bonded him out in March — just a week after her lottery win.

McDow was also arrested in July on drug charges. The gun charge from October stems from an arrest for violating the curfew terms of his March release.

In the July arrest, Holmes was cited for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Pleasant Hill Missionary Baptist Church is a 130-year-old church located in Brunswick County about halfway between Shallotte and Ocean Isle.

The predominantly African American church, with about 400 members and about 135 regular attendees, has been the spiritual home of the Holmes family for decades, Sheehan said.

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

WNCN, Lottery Post Staff

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32 comments. Last comment 1 year ago by hearsetrax.
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backwoods ga
United States
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May 31, 2014
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Posted: November 29, 2015, 8:59 am - IP Logged

Awesome.

my name Lil Darryl   you got some Milk

    reddog's avatar - patch
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    United States
    Member #1616
    June 5, 2003
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    Posted: November 29, 2015, 9:06 am - IP Logged

    She finally did something good with her money. Now if she can only get rid of that looser of a boyfriend she has then she might be alright.

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      United States
      Member #122691
      February 6, 2012
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      Posted: November 29, 2015, 9:26 am - IP Logged

      Good Lord this woman continues to be a complete moron. "Big house and new Mercedes here I come" probably shouted her minister. We'll see if those repairs and renovations ever happen. I have 3 reverends living in my neighborhood in million dollar homes and drive expensive cars like Mercedes and Jaguars and wear the most expensive suits and jewelry. Two of them are black and their churches are in the hood, far far away from their congregation who are only allowed to come over to do work on their homes, for free of course. These people are the worst, I have no respect for them. You can get 10% of my money when you do 10% of my work.

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        Maryland
        United States
        Member #162434
        January 2, 2015
        894 Posts
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        Posted: November 29, 2015, 10:10 am - IP Logged

        Good Lord this woman continues to be a complete moron. "Big house and new Mercedes here I come" probably shouted her minister. We'll see if those repairs and renovations ever happen. I have 3 reverends living in my neighborhood in million dollar homes and drive expensive cars like Mercedes and Jaguars and wear the most expensive suits and jewelry. Two of them are black and their churches are in the hood, far far away from their congregation who are only allowed to come over to do work on their homes, for free of course. These people are the worst, I have no respect for them. You can get 10% of my money when you do 10% of my work.

        Yea, years ago I remember hearing a minister talking in the booth next to ours at a restaurant.  I think the other person was a contractor or banker as he was talking about the 'housing allowance' he is given.  The allowance went up by $500 a month, I think it went to like $4500 a month.  His current home has been 'maxed out' and he needs to buy/build a new home or else he would lose out on the increase on the allowance. Disgusting!

          Litebets27's avatar - power
          Maryland
          United States
          Member #10465
          January 14, 2005
          6065 Posts
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          Posted: November 29, 2015, 10:19 am - IP Logged

          I feel a little sorry for this mislead young lady, because, it looks like every one in her surroundings have found a "SUGAR MOMMA" in her, including Brunswick County which has profited the most.

          Feeling,  PRICELESS!!!Banana

          Come on Jackpot!!!

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            boston,ma
            United States
            Member #150102
            December 15, 2013
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            Posted: November 29, 2015, 11:08 am - IP Logged

            She promised to pay her tithe to the church which is 10% of her winnings. If she took home 88 million, shouldn't that have been about 9 million?

              hearsetrax's avatar - 0118

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              May 21, 2007
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              Posted: November 29, 2015, 11:56 am - IP Logged

              just let her go broke again already geeeeze

                Teddi's avatar - Lottery-008.jpg

                United States
                Member #142499
                May 13, 2013
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                Posted: November 29, 2015, 12:23 pm - IP Logged

                She promised to pay her tithe to the church which is 10% of her winnings. If she took home 88 million, shouldn't that have been about 9 million?

                She said she was going to give a tenth to charity. She didn't say she was going to give it all to one place.

                I might wake up early and go running.  I might also wake up and win the lottery.

                The odds are about the same.

                  music*'s avatar - nw bookeep.jpg
                  Happy California
                  United States
                  Member #157856
                  August 2, 2014
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                  Posted: November 29, 2015, 12:25 pm - IP Logged

                   I hope that Marie Holmes has found wise counsel. Financial, Health, Emotional counseling. 

                   She should create a budget. Her first mistake was not taking the thirty-year payout plan. Marie would have been forced to follow a budget.

                   Now she must learn to say,"NO!" to many friends and family. 

                   Marie will find out after she spends it all that the word,"Bankruptcy" will act just as well as,"NO" does. I got that from a former football quarterback, Bernie Kosar, of the Cleveland Browns. After he declared bankruptcy everybody stopped coming around. No borrower paid back the loans.

                   I agree with previous posters about Ms.Holmes, she should move.No Pity!

                   I've been rich and I've been poor. Believe me, rich is better. 

                   Attributed to Joe E. Lewis and others

                    HoLeeKau's avatar - YheaShea
                    Idaho
                    United States
                    Member #94283
                    July 17, 2010
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                    Posted: November 29, 2015, 12:26 pm - IP Logged

                    She promised to pay her tithe to the church which is 10% of her winnings. If she took home 88 million, shouldn't that have been about 9 million?

                    She already spent 9 mil on Hot Sauce (I prefer the Tabasco Chipotle myself) which is probably doing as much good as donating to a church.  So I say she has more than fulfilled that promise already.

                      luckyshoes's avatar - butterfly neg.jpg
                      Pennsylvania
                      United States
                      Member #79502
                      September 2, 2009
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                      Posted: November 29, 2015, 12:31 pm - IP Logged

                      The churches  here are rich because of people who want to buy their way in to a great beyond. Most of the ones around here are very well set .  I dont know what it is but sudden wealth makes one lose common sense.

                       

                      Hot sauce is going to ride that train all the way to her bankruptcy.

                        Rachel007's avatar - Lottery-016.jpg
                        GEORGIA PEACH
                        United States
                        Member #70173
                        January 25, 2009
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                        Posted: November 29, 2015, 12:52 pm - IP Logged

                        GOD had blessed this young lady with immense wealth she should move far far away with her children....

                        focus on them and when she is not busy with them volunteer her services to a local charity helping others

                         That would be the right thing to do. Also lord give her the willpower to walk away from that young man

                        she is with.... if not she will be broke in record time.  It is already happening!

                          Teddi's avatar - Lottery-008.jpg

                          United States
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                          May 13, 2013
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                          Posted: November 29, 2015, 12:59 pm - IP Logged

                          You can't paint all churches with the same brush. That would be like saying all priests are pedophiles or all pastors are okay with using offering money to buy a $65 million luxury jet. 

                          My church puts a very strict limit on how much a pastor can be paid. Not a single one is making anything past 5 figures regardless of the size of their congregation. The outreach segment of the church body helps about 120 million people per year worldwide in disaster relief, educational, financial and housing assistance. Their finances are completely transparent and 93% of all money given for outreach goes directly to people in need. Less than 7% is kept for salaries and overhead, it has a 4 out of 4 star ranking on Charity Navigator which is a lot better than even the The Red Cross.

                          I'd have no problems giving my 10% to them, and I'm sure that those who aren't aware of how the financial allocation works would call it disgusting or ill-conceived or misguided.

                          They'd see it as me foolishly lining some preacher's pocket, where in fact it would be better used than most well known non-religious charities. 

                          Giving to one's church doesn't mean you're an idiot and it doesn't automatically mean that your church is going to do something underhanded with it. I wish the IRS would force all religious organizations who have a tax exempt status to make their finances transparent, but I'm sure if they did there'd be a big outcry about a federal agency's war on Christianity. So there we are.

                          I might wake up early and go running.  I might also wake up and win the lottery.

                          The odds are about the same.

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                            boston,ma
                            United States
                            Member #150102
                            December 15, 2013
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                            Posted: November 29, 2015, 12:59 pm - IP Logged

                            She said she was going to give a tenth to charity. She didn't say she was going to give it all to one place.

                            Yep, you're right. When i saw the Ch, i assume she said church. Usually when people speak of titheing they speak of giving 10% to their church.