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Tuesday
Mar262013

Powerball Winner: Money 'Will Not Change My Heart'

William Thomas Cain/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A New Jersey bodega owner who emigrated from the Dominican Republic stepped forward Tuesday as the winner of a $338 million Powerball jackpot. Pedro Quezada's life of 18-hour workdays is all behind him and he now plans to help those in need.

Quezada, 45, came to the United States 25 years ago for work. Speaking through a translator at a news conference Tuesday, he said he felt "pure joy" and "never thought he would win such a prize."

He purchased the winning ticket at Eagle Liquor in Passaic, N.J., and wasn't aware the store had sold the lucky ticket or that he was a winner when he stopped in to check his ticket on Monday.

"When it was checked the gentleman at the counter told me congratulations," Quezada said. "I felt pure joy, just happiness."

He told reporters at the store on Monday that he was "very happy" and that he intended to help his family.

It was a sentiment he expressed again Tuesday at the news conference, where lottery officials presented him with an oversized yellow check as his family -- which includes a wife, five children ranging in age from 5 to 23, and a granddaughter -- looked on.

"My family is a very humble family, and we are going to help each other out," Quezada said.

Until last year, Quezada had woken up at 5 a.m. to open his bodega and stayed until closing time at 11 p.m., he said. His son had taken over operations of the store, but with his windfall, Quezada said he plans to relieve his son of the job.

Quezada brushed away questions about a fire at his store and a robbery at his apartment in recent years, saying he instead wanted to focus on the future.

"My life has changed," he said. "It will not change my heart."

Quezada said he still needs time to let his newfound riches sink in and isn't sure what he'll do with the money, but he promised to make sure some of it will go to helping those in need.

New Jersey's newest millionaire said even though he's beaten the 1 in 175,000,000 odds to win the jackpot, he doesn't plan to give up purchasing Powerball tickets a few times per week.

"Of course," he said. "I'm searching for another win."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio