Iowa’s Lerynne West wins $349,000,000 Powerball jackpot and starts the Callum Foundation to give back to the people that always had her back.

Iowa resident and single mother of three Lerynne West came from humble beginnings. Recently, her life changed after hitting the Powerball jackpot of $349,000,000. She now has a new responsibility of helping those in need.

What a Single Mom Did With Her $349,000,000 Lottery Win

person holding lottery tickets
Photo by Erik Mclean

During the move-in to her new home, Lerynne was tired from unboxing all day. She asked her sister to take her to the nearby gas station to grab a coffee and a slice of pizza. While paying for her snacks, she asked the store clerk for a couple of lottery tickets. 

A day later, the Powerball results were announced, with one winner being from her state. Due to a state of chaos surrounding the move, Lerynne misplaced her tickets. Luckily her sister found them on the floor of her car. She sent photos of the tickets to Lerynne to enter the numbers and see if she got lucky. 

When registering the tickets, Lerynne thought there was a mistake. The results read “JACKPOT!” She was left in a state of shock when she called her sister back and told her to stop whatever she’s doing and drive the tickets over to her house. 


Lerynne had won the largest ever lottery prize in the state of Iowa. Instead of splurging immediately, she used the money to start the Callum Foundation, a charitable organization named after her late grandson. “He was born at 24 weeks and he lived for one day,” she told the public. “And so that foundation is to honour him and do good for others.” 

Lerynne opted for the lump sum of $198,100,000 and appeared on The Ellen Show to share her story. During the interview she shared news that the Callum Foundation would be donating $500,000 to the Travis Mills Foundation.

“My dad was a Vietnam vet. I come from a long line of people who served in the military,” she told Ellen. “Its very important to me that we never forget the sacrifices that our soldiers and their families make for our country.” 

How One Woman Proved the Importance of Giving Back

Though she’s never experienced financial freedom before, Lerynne has spent her first million dollars with nobility and sincerity. In all of her public appearances she is seen holding back tears while speaking on the Callum Foundation and what hitting this lotto jackpot has meant to her. 

Lerynne retired from her job at 51 years old but still plans to live humbly. Continuing research on how she can use the new found Callum Foundation to help those who need it most. “My girls and I used to dream of winning the lottery,” she told the public, “we never thought we would be here today.” 

To treat herself, Lerynne is looking to buy a new car to replace her beat down Ford. “I’m going to get a car big enough that I can take all my grandchildren places now.” A proud grandmother. This jackpot couldn’t have happened to a better person.

Lerynne is mostly relieved now that she is confident that all of her grandchildren will now be able to receive a college education. She only wants to see others succeed.