Marie Holmes was the winner of the US Powerball $188 million jackpot in February last year. The 27-year-old mother of four showed her altruism when she donated a portion of her winnings to the church that she attended since she was a girl. Her $680,000 will go a long way to fixing up much-needed repairs of the Pleasant Hill Missionary Baptist Church.
According to Marie's aunt, Carmel Wheaton, five consecutive generations of the Holmes family have attended the 130-year-old church of 400 members.
Marie had the option of taking the annuity where she would be paid installments of the $188 million over three decades She opted for the lump-sum payment of $127 million, of which she received $88 million after taxes.
However, things weren't always so gleeful following her jackpot. She originally planned on donating 10 percent of her winnings to various charities, but thing took a nasty turn for her. Marie made news headlines when she spent millions to bail her boyfriend out of prison. Her fiance, Lamarr "Hot Sauce" McDown was held on charges ranging from possession of illegal firearms to drug-related offenses.
To make matters worse in her personal life, Holmes found herself inundated with public scrutiny for paying up to $9 million towards McDow's bail. The public tried to rest way too much on the young lottery winner's shoulders and looked to her as an icon of hope after news surfaced about her generosity. However, stories of her having to frequently bail her fiance out of prison seemed to leave a bitter taste in their mouths.
In the eyes of the less judgemental, she remains a hero as even before she won the lottery, she worked two jobs to support her children. One of which has Cerebral Palsy.