Melbourne Beach, FL – The mystery behind the Florida Powerball winner was finally solved when Candice Withers a 32-year old Florida, resident came forward Saturday afternoon with the winning Powerball ticket that she purchased at the Publix grocery store located on Highway A1A in Melbourne Beach.
Candice, a single mother of 4 children was left widowed in 2014 when her 34-year old husband Derek Withers died while serving his second tour in Iraq.
According to Candice, things have been very tight financially since the passing of her husband in June of 2014. Candice is not able to maintain full-time employment because the cost of daycare for her small children all under the age of 6 is too expensive to maintain along with all of her additional monthly bills and day to day expenses.
Candice told the local ABC News affiliate that although she receives military benefits and government assistance, it often times is not enough to keep the lights on or feed the entire family, Candice told reporters that she frequently goes without meals so her children are able to go to bed with a full stomach.
When asked why it took her so long to come forward with her winning ticket, Candice told reporters, “I was (and still am) overwhelmed – I was just trying to process this information, it doesn’t feel real, I’m still waiting to wake-up from this crazy dream”. Candice also indicated that she took the advice provided by previous Florida lotto winner Dr. Wiliam A. Steele, an Orlando dermatologist who has managed to remain fairly quiet regarding his winnings.
Candice told reporters that the first purchase she plans to make with her $528 million winnings is a new house for herself, her mother, and her 4 children to live in. She told reporters, “I just can’t wait to get settled into a nice new home, we have had to relocate and downsize 4 -times in the last year and a half, these kids deserve it”.
When asked by an ABC affiliate reporter how she picked the winning Powerball numbers she explained, “I NEVER buy lotto tickets, but broke down and took a chance while picking up some bread and milk at Publix, I just based all the numbers off relevant numbers in my life, my 4 children’s birthdays fall on the 4th, 8th, 19th, and 27th, and my late husband Derek was 34 when he passed away.”
Lottery officials have yet to announce the winner of the Powerball ticket purchased at the Chino Hills, California, 7-11.