This time last year, Marie Holmes was a single mom of four living in North Carolina, trying to make ends meet. Her four kids included a child with cerebral palsy. Her life was changed when she won the $188 Million Powerball jackpot. Holmes vowed to care for her children and her church with the money; very reasonable as it seems. However, she has paid out nearly a quarter of the $88 million she took home after taxes and fees. What did she spend her money on? The $20 Million was spent bailing her boyfriend Lamarr “Hot Sauce” McDow out of jail on drug, weapon and street racing charges.
Holmes, 27, hit the jackpot in February and has since bailed McDow, 31, out of jail three times. McDow, the father of her youngest child, was already in jail on heroin and weapons charges when Holmes won the lottery. Shortly after Holmes received the money, she posted his $3 million bail. In July, it was a $6 million bail for a weapons charge. Bail amounts increased to $12 million for the alleged street racing infraction within the past month. Bail is doubled each time a defendant violates his conditions, Star News Online reported.
McDow is set to make his first appearance on the street racing charge on Jan. 19, according to the News Online. If he doesn’t show up, Holmes stands to lose a sizeable amount of cash.
When she won the money in February 2015, Holmes was living with her family in a trailer in Shallotte, N.C. She was working jobs at Walmart, KFC, McDonald’s and Subway, WWAY reported. Holmes said she gave her mom $3 to buy the winning ticket on her way to church.
Shortly after winning the Powerball, Holmes’ life and everyone’s life around her changed.
She donated $680,000 to Pleasant Hill Missionary Baptist Church in Shallotte, according to WNCN. She also moved into a new five-bedroom home, a home in which McDow moved in as well.
McDow had twice been arrested in 2014 when authorities said they confiscated about 2,500 bags of heroin during separate incidents, WNCN reported. But even after the fortune came his girlfriend’s way, McDow couldn’t stay out of jail, constantly requiring Holmes to put her millions at stake to keep him free.
McDow has multiple prior convictions, including for assault inflicting serious injury, assault on a female and several felony drug possession convictions, according to North Carolina Department of Public Safety records reviewed by the News Online. He spent eight months behind bars in 2008 and 2009 for possession of a schedule II controlled substance.
Let’s all hope he doesn’t appear back in jail. Ad if he does, Holmes may then bail him out for $24 Million of her Powerball winnings.
Matthew is an Graduate MBA student at Indiana University. He is involved in data analysis, market research, and statistics. He enjoys reading, writing and community involvement.