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Winner of $336 million Powerball lottery comes forward

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By LAURA CRIMALDI
Associated Press

 CRANSTON, R.I. (AP) -- An 81-year-old woman from Newport won last month's $336.4 million Powerball jackpot, sleeping with the winning ticket in her Bible until coming forward to claim the sixth-largest U.S. prize on Tuesday, a family representative said.

At a news conference at state lottery headquarters in Cranston, Louise White said little, calling herself "very happy" and "very proud."

But her attorneys said she was a regular lottery player who bought the winning ticket at a Stop & Shop supermarket in Newport where she had stopped for rainbow sherbet. The ticket is being claimed in the name of the Rainbow Sherbet Trust.

White kept winning ticket in a Bible after she realized she won, the attorneys said.

The winning ticket was among three tickets with random numbers purchased on a $9 wager, officials said.

The winning numbers from the Feb. 11 drawing were 1-10-37-52-57 and the Powerball was 11. The lump sum payment would be $210 million, the highest ever for Powerball, officials said. The jackpot was the third largest in Powerball history and the largest ever won in Rhode Island, officials said.

The top lottery jackpot in U.S. history was a $390 million Mega Millions prize won in March 2007.

The Powerball jackpot win is the first since the ticket price increased from $1 to $2 in January. Rising sales nearly doubled the jackpot from $173.5 million on Feb. 1.

There is no bonus for the supermarket for selling the winning ticket, officials said. Instead of paying out a bonus, Powerball retailers in Rhode Island get eight cents on the dollar for every ticket sold.

The win means Rhode Island gets a little more than $12 million in taxes on the prize, officials said last month.

Powerball is played in 42 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The chance of matching all five numbers and the Powerball number is about 1 in 175 million.

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