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Family Wins $429 Million Lottery, But Is Giving It Back To Their Community

family lotto winners

What would you do if you won millions of dollars? When given the chance would you choose to pay off debts, buy a new car, or retire early and travel the world?

Last year, Pearlie Mae Smith and her seven children from Trenton, New Jersey, won a $429 million Powerball jackpot and were faced with this exact dilemma. However, for Pearlie and her children, the answer was a very simple one.


After the lottery win, a press conference was held where the Smith family announced their plans to use the money to give back to their community.

“It was like affirmation from God because we each have dreams that we want to fulfill in this life, and do for our community and do for each other and for our families and we have been funded to do that,” Pearlie’s daughter Valerie Arthur said at the press conference.


Together the family agreed to take the lotto win as a one lump sum payment and divide up the winnings between each person. Everyone received about $25 million after taxes which was first put toward any outstanding debts such as student loans.

Once all of their financial obligations had been taken care of, each member of the Smith family invested the rest of their winnings into starting the Smith Family Foundation.


“Our mission is to empower our community, cultivate leaders and transform lives by providing funding and leadership development to Trenton based organizations,” the foundation’s website states.


By providing funding and support straight to the families and organizations in their city, the Smith family hopes that Trenton will become “a vibrant city, a city that’s on the upswing, a city that’s bringing new life into the community,” Harold Smith told HuffPost.

Harold is not only a member of the Smith family but also the program manager for the foundation.


Over the last year, the Smith family has already helped a few dozen families in their community – and they don’t have any plans of slowing down.

This type of selfless love for others started early on for the family. According to the foundation’s website, giving back to others and working hard have been values that Pearlie and her husband Seamon raised their children on.


“I could have gotten a yacht and never come back, but we just have a heart and mind to do this work,” Valerie told NJ.com. “It’s a blessing to have the ability to do whatever you want to do in this life and yet you choose to come and help somebody else – that right there is divine intervention.”

Watch the press conference video below and share if you were inspired by this family’s dedication to helping others and making a change in their community.

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