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NJ’s Powerball Winner Owes $29K In Child Support

Pedro Quezada (credit: CBS 2)

Pedro Quezada (credit: CBS 2)

PATERSON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) – The New Jersey man who won the $338 million Powerball jackpot owes about $29,000 in child support.

Forty-four-year-old Pedro Quezada on Tuesday claimed a lump-sum payment worth $221 million, or about $152 million after taxes.

A spokesman for Passaic County Sheriff Richard Berdnik said the sheriff’s office’s warrant squad is attempting to find Quezada to resolve the matter.

Spokesman Bill Maer also said the state Lottery Division generally satisfies such judgments before winnings are released. He added that Quezada is subject to potential arrest like everyone else until the warrant is satisfied.

The unpaid child support payments go back to 2009. It’s not known which of Quezada’s five children, who range in age from 5 to 23 years old, are covered under the payments.

Quezada said Tuesday his mind was not clear enough to figure out what he will do with the money, but said he could use a good car and give back to his community and “help those in need.”

Up until last year, Quezada had worked 15-hour days for years at his Passaic bodega. He said his bodega days are over, and given all the money he won, he doesn’t plan to let his son keep working there either.

Quezada has been in the country 26 years. The family moved to the U.S. in the 1980s from the Dominican city of Jarabacoa.

Neighbors said the Quezada family has suffered bad luck in recent years. Two years, ago, thieves broke into their apartment and stole everything from clothing to jewelry.

In 2009, the family had to rebuild after suffering a devastating fire that almost destroyed their bodega.

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.

Quezada won the fourth-largest jackpot in Powerball history.

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