Pedro Quezada won a $338 million Powerball jackpot but has some bills to pay before he can fully claim his money. Reports show that Quezada owes nearly $29,000 in back child support and could be arrested for failure to pay if he does not rectify the situation immediately.
Quezada was given $221 million in winnings, choosing to receive one lump sum rather than multiple payments. That means he should be able to pay off his existing debts and avoid jail, but should the authorities get to him first, he could be subject to arrest.
"Because of Mr. Quezada's large winnings, generally the New Jersey Division of Lottery would satisfy the judgment before all of the winnings are released. Like everyone else, until this warrant is satisfied, Mr. Quezada is subject to potential arrest," Passaic County Sheriff Richard H. Berdnik said in an email to NorthJersey.com.
Police already tried to contact Quezada at his residence, but no one was home. Quezada is the father of five and has one granddaughter. In his initial statement to the press, Quezada promised to help his family and remain the same person he was before he won the money.
"My family is a very humble family and we are going to help each other out. My life has changed; it will not changed my heart," he said at a press conference.
Neighbors reported that Quezada has closed the store he ran and put a "For Sale" sign in the window. The family's rent is paid until April 1, and it's possible that the family is planning to move from their neighborhood.
"They probably left, and left the furniture in there. I would do that," Woody Solemini, owner of a building across the street, told North Jersey. "God bless them both."
"It's good they sell it, because it's not safe for them to be there," another neighbor, Maria Almonte said. "They have a different life now, and they have to adapt to the life that is waiting for them."