N.J. bodega owner claims Powerball jackpot

March 25, 2013 at 11:34 PM
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PASSAIC, N.J., March 25 (UPI) -- A 44-year-old immigrant from the Dominican Republic came forward in New Jersey Monday to claim the $338 million Powerball jackpot.

Pedro Quezada, a married father of five who runs a bodega, said he buys a lottery ticket at Eagle Liquors in Passaic every day and one he bought during the weekend paid off, NorthJersey.com reported.

"I'm nervous and tired," he said.

While he didn't yet have the money in hand, he said, "I want to help a lot of people, in whatever they need, in rent, in whatever."

His wife, Ines Sanchez, said later the family's good fortune was a shock.

"We never expected it, but thank God," she said. "I couldn't believe it. I still don't."

New Jersey Lottery officials confirmed the winning ticket was validated at the store at 4:30 p.m. but didn't know the winner's name.

Eagle Liquors owner Sammy Sethi told NBC News he scanned Quezada's ticket and it came up with the message "Jackpot!"

His winning numbers were 17, 29, 31, 52, 53 and Powerball 31.

"It's a blessing for the neighborhood," Daphne Robinson, 44, told NorthJersey.com. "It gives people hope that there is a blessing somewhere, for somebody."

Earlier, a truck stop manager in New Jersey had said he believed he had sold the winning Powerball ticket. Isaiah DeVries, the manager at Love's Travel Stops & Country Store in Bordentown, told ABC News he received a call from an unidentified man who claimed he won the jackpot.

"Upon listening to his voice he did sound happy, kind of like a relief like he wouldn't have to work as hard and nice to hear that for someone," DeVries said.

"I'm sure if I were to see his face I would recognize him. He claimed to be a usual here in the store."

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