(PNS reporting from NEW YERSEY) Pedro Quezada, the Garden State bodega owner who won Saturday’s $338 million Powerball jackpot, says his old life of selling Flamin’Hot Cheetos and malt liquor is all behind him now and he now plans a future helping those in need.
The Dominican immigrant, who purchased the lottery ticket at Eagle Liquor in Passaic, didn’t know the store had sold the lucky ducat or that he was the big winner when he went to check, he told PNS in an interview Thursday.
“When they looked, the clerk at the counter told me congratulations,” Quezada said. “Then he said we were cousins, even though he is a Hindu gentleman.”
Quezada said he was “very happy” and he intended to help his family, which includes a wife, five children ranging in age from five to 23, and a granddaughter, and his newly-discovered 250 new cousins, and 700 previously-known cousins.
It was a sentiment he expressed again today at a news conference, where lottery officials presented him with an oversized yellow check.
“I hope there is an oversized bank that can help me cash this check. My family is a very humble family, and we don’t understand large banking,” Quezada said.
When asked what dreams he might fulfill with this money, he said he may move to a fancier neighborhood. Being Dominican is “very nice,” he said, “but I have always wanted to be Mexican.” However, since he won so much money, he said, “I might as well go all the way and become Argentinian.”
Quezada promised to make sure some of his winnings will go to helping those in need.
“I would like to help buy my fellow New Jersey neighbor Snooki buy a nice place out in California or Idaho, really, anywhere besides New Jersey. Also, for Gov. Chris Christie, I would like to buy him one of those buffet restaurants. And some big checkered pantalones. That would look nice.”
Quezada was not perturbed at reports that he won’t collect his winnings until he pays off $29,000 in back child support that he owes according to the State of New Jersey, saying, “I can now afford a baby mama, plus a basketball wife AND a Kardashian, so bring it on, New Jersey! Also, can someone lend me $29, 000 real fast?”
The odds of Quezada winning the jackpot were 1 in 175,000,000, which are about the same odds as Donald Trump not tweeting something racist.
“Of course,” he said. “I’m searching for another win, plus I may have started a trend of Latinos playing the lottery a lot.”
Photo by Associated Press Photographer and Friend of Pochismo Julio Cortez