North Carolina lottery winner is spending more money – but this time it’s not to bail her alleged heroin dealer fiance out of jail. Marie Holmes, who won $188 million dollars with one of three winning tickets in the North Carolina Powerball lottery, donated $800,000 of those earnings to the Pleasant Hill Missionary Baptist Church near her hometown of Shallote, North Carolina, reports WECT.
According to WECT, Pleasant Hill pastor Reverend Dr. Vaughn Cherry said the donation was “a blessing.” They will use the money for repairs and updates and for a new church van.
Holmes, now 26, has been attending church with her grandmother and great-grandmother since childhood. The church is 130 years old and has been Holmes’ family church for five generations.
After winning the money earlier this year, Holmes came under fire some months later when it came out that she was living with, and engaged to an alleged drug dealer who she bailed out of jail to the tune of $6 million. At the time of her win, Holmes, a single mother of four, said that she was going to use the money to provide for her children, including one with special needs, and possibly go back to school.
After that controversy, Holmes posted on her Facebook page that her critics needed to relax and stop judging a windfall that wasn’t their own.